The former Soviet countries, including Belarus, continue to lead the worldwide decline in press freedom, according to 2018 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Belarus remains in a difficult situation zone.
World Press Freedom Index is an annual review of 180 countries and their relationship with the media, published since 2002.
In this year’s Index, Norway is first followed by Sweden that took second postion for the second year running.
Belarus slipped two places and now takes 155 place on the list, last year it was 157th.
An increase in opposition protests was accompanied by a new crackdown.
At least 100 journalists were briefly arrested in 2017 and more than 60 were convicted of working for media outlets based abroad.
“Fearful destabilization associated with the Ukrainian crisis, the authorities imprisoned both pro-Russian and anti-Russian bloggers.
Nine independent newspapers are again distributed after they were banned for 11 years.
However, blocking of the news website (Charter-97) indicates that the Internet censorship has reached a new level, “ the analysis reads.
Worrying tendecy is observed in almost two-thirds of the post-Soviet countries. All of them are ranked somewhere near or below the 150th position.
The region’s overall indicator has almost as low as that of Middle East and North Africa, which is last in the ranking.
Russia’s ranking is unchanged at 148th only because of the overall decline in press freedom worldwide. Expectedly, North Korea is still last in the ranking – 180th.
Preview photo: KP.BY