Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Annual press freedom index released

Reporters Without Borders has released its annual index ranking nations on the degree of press freedom enjoyed. Finland, Iceland, Ireland and the Netherlands rank first in the ratings, followed by the Czech Republic, Estonia, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland. North Korea ranks at the bottom. Other countries in the bottom ten include Uzbekistan, Nepal, Ethiopia, Saudia Arabia, Iran, China, Burma, Cuba and Eritrea. Of these countries, it said journalists "are still risking their life or imprisonment for trying to keep us informed. These situations are extremely serious and it is urgent that leaders of these countries accept criticism and stop routinely cracking down on the media so harshly."

The United States has fallen nine places from last year to 53rd, tied with Botswana, Croatia and Tonga in press freedom enjoyed, and down from 17th in 2002. The "steady erosion of press freedom in the United States, France and Japan is extremely alarming,” it said.

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