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World Press Freedom Index: Finland topped & Syria listed in list of journalists in danger

Feb 12, 2014 11:11 IST

World Press Freedom Index (WFPI) study conducted by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) released on 11 February 2014. The study has highlighted Syria in the list of nations among one of the countries, where journalists are most in danger. In its highlight the report said that the Syrian crisis has had dramatic repercussions on the freedom on press across the region as at present journalists in Syria are the soft targets for group attempting to control news in Syria and its neighbors.
 
The last three positions are again held by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, three countries where freedom of information is non-existent. At the other end of the index, Finland topped the index for the fourth year running, closely followed by Netherlands and Norway, like last year.

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India (140th, +1) experienced an unprecedented wave of violence against journalists, with eight killed in 2013. They are targeted by both state and non-state actors. Almost no region is spared but Kashmir and Chhattisgarh continue to be the only two where violence and censorship are endemic. Those responsible for threats and physical violence against journalists, who are often abandoned by the judicial system and forced to censor themselves, include police and security forces as well as criminal groups, demonstrators and political party supporters.

This year’s index covers 180 countries, one more than last year. The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th). Cases of violence against journalists are rare in Belize but there were some problems: defamation suits involving demands for large amounts in damages, national security restrictions on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes unfair management of broadcast frequencies.

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