RSF index highlights dismal state of press freedom

Updated April 19, 2019

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Pakistan too has slid down three places as, according to the report, the media suffered brazen cases of censorship, especially during the general elections. — AFP/File
Pakistan too has slid down three places as, according to the report, the media suffered brazen cases of censorship, especially during the general elections. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres or RSF) has released its world press freedom index, which shows some countries slipping from their position, while others remaining in the worst of circumstances.

Norway claimed the top spot for the third consecutive year, followed by Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Pakistan too has slid down three places as, according to the report, the media suffered brazen cases of censorship, especially during the general elections. Distribution of newspapers was interrupted, media outlets were threatened with the withdrawal of advertisements, while signals of TV channels were jammed.

According to the RSF, the situation was worsened by resort to crude methods, for instance intimidation, physical violence and arrests. The report noted that the new government announced the creation of a Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority last year, a name in which “regulation” was clearly intended to mean “censorship”.

The report found that journalists working in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were at the highest risk — at least three journalists were killed in connection with their work.

However, there have been no killings of any journalist in Pakistan this year so far, according to the RSF.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2019