Monday, November 3, 2003


Reporters Without Borders/ Reporters sans frontiers (RSF). October 20, 2003.

Like last year, RSF finds the lowest rankings of press freedom in Asia, with eight countries in the bottom ten: North Korea, Burma, Laos, China, Iran, Vietnam, Turkmenistan and Bhutan. Independent news media are either non-existent in these countries, or are constantly repressed by the authorities. Journalists there work in extremely difficult conditions, with no freedom and no security. A number of them are imprisoned in Burma, China and Iran.

Cuba is in 165th position, second from last. Twenty-six independent journalists were arrested in the spring of 2003 and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 14 to 27 years, making Cuba the world's biggest prison for journalists. They were accused of writing articles for publication abroad that played into the hands of "imperialist interests." Eritrea, in 162nd position, has the worst situation in Africa. Privately-owned news media have been banned there for the past two years and 14 journalists are being held in undisclosed locations. [English-language, pdf format, 7 pages] [French-language, pdf format, 7 pages] [Spanish-language, pdf format, 7 pages] [Russian-language, pdf format, 8 pages] [Arabic-language, pdf format, 8 pages]

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