Press Freedom Index 2011/2012 – Eritrea Ranked Last (179th)

Syria, Bahrain and Yemen get worst ever rankings “This year’s index sees many changes in the rankings, changes that reflect a year that was incredibly rich in developments, especially in the Arab world,” Reporters Without Borders

Syria, Bahrain and Yemen get worst ever rankings

“This year’s index sees many changes in the rankings, changes that reflect a year that was incredibly rich in developments, especially in the Arab world,” Reporters Without Borders said today as it released its 10th annual press freedom index. “Many media paid dearly for their coverage of democratic aspirations or opposition movements. Control of news and information continued to tempt governments and to be a question of survival for totalitarian and repressive regimes. The past year also highlighted the leading role played by netizens in producing and disseminating news.

“Crackdown was the word of the year in 2011. Never has freedom of information been so closely associated with democracy. Never have journalists, through their reporting, vexed the enemies of freedom so much. Never have acts of censorship and physical attacks on journalists seemed so numerous. The equation is simple: the absence or suppression of civil liberties leads necessarily to the suppression of media freedom. Dictatorships fear and ban information, especially when it may undermine them.

“It is no surprise that the same trio of countries, Eritrea, Turkmenistan and North Korea, absolute dictatorships that permit no civil liberties, again occupy the last three places in the index. This year, they are immediately preceded at the bottom by Syria, Iran and China, three countries that seem to have lost contact with reality as they have been sucked into an insane spiral of terror, and by Bahrain and Vietnam, quintessential oppressive regimes. Other countries such as Uganda and Belarus have also become much more repressive.

“This year’s index finds the same group of countries at its head, countries such as Finland, Norway and Netherlands that respect basic freedoms. This serves as a reminder that media independence can only be maintained in strong democracies and that democracy needs media freedom. It is worth noting the entry of Cape Verde and Namibia into the top twenty, two African countries where no attempts to obstruct the media were reported in 2011.”

Protest movements

The Arab world was the motor of history in 2011 but the Arab uprisings have had contrasting political outcomes so far, with Tunisia and Bahrain at opposite ends of the scale. Tunisia (134th) rose 30 places in index and, with much suffering, gave birth to a democratic regime that has not yet fully accepted a free and independent press. Bahrain (173rd) fell 29 places because of its relentless crackdown on pro-democracy movements, its trials of human rights defenders and its suppression of all space for freedom.

While Libya (154th) turned the page on the Gaddafi era, Yemen succumbed to violence between President Ali Abdallah Saleh’s opponents and supporters and languished in 171st position. The future of both of these countries remains uncertain, and the place they will allow the media is undecided. The same goes for Egypt, which fell 39 places to 166th because the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in power since February, dashed the hopes of democrats by continuing the Mubarak dictatorship’s practices. There were three periods of exceptional violence for journalists: in February, November and December.

Already poorly ranked in 2010, Syria fell further in the index, to 176th position, because total censorship, widespread surveillance, indiscriminate violence and government manipulation made it impossible for journalists to work.

Elsewhere in the world, pro-democracy movements that tried to follow the Arab example were ruthlessly suppressed. Many arrests were made in Vietnam (172nd). In China (174th), the government responded to regional and local protests and to public impatience with scandals and acts of injustice by feverishly reinforcing its system of controlling news and information, carrying out extrajudicial arrests and stepping up Internet censorship. There was a dramatic rise in the number of arrests in Azerbaijan (162nd), where Ilham Aliyev’s autocratic government did not hesitate to jail netizens, abduct opposition journalists and bar foreign reporters in order to impose a news blackout on the unrest.

Led by President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda (139th) launched an unprecedented crackdown on opposition movements and independent media after the elections in February. Similarly, Chile (80th) fell 47 places because of its many freedom of information violations, committed very often by the security forces during student protests. The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests.

Several European countries fall far behind rest of continent

The index has highlighted the divergence of some European countries from the rest of the continent. The crackdown on protests after President Lukashenko’s reelection caused Belarus to fall 14 places to 168th. At a time when it is portraying itself as a regional model, Turkey (148th) took a big step backwards and lost 10 places. Far from carrying out promised reforms, the judicial system launched a wave of arrests of journalists that was without precedent since the military dictatorship.

Within the European Union, the index reflects a continuation of the very marked distinction between countries such as Finland and Netherlands that have always had a good evaluation and countries such as Bulgaria (80th), Greece (70th) and Italy (61st) that fail to address the issue of their media freedom violations, above all because of a lack of political will. There was little progress from France, which went from 44th to 38th, or from Spain (39th) and Romania (47th). Media freedom is a challenge that needs addressing more than ever in the Balkans, which want to join the European Union but are suffering the negative effects of the economic crisis.

Endemic violence

Many countries are marked by a culture of violence towards the media that has taken a deep hold. It will be hard to reverse the trends in these countries without an effective fight against impunity. Mexico (149th) and Honduras (135th) are two cases in point. Pakistan (151st) was the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the second year running. Somalia (164th), which has been at war for 20 years, shows no sign of finding a way out of the chaos in which journalists are paying a heavy price.

In Iran (175th), hounding and humiliating journalists has been part of officialdom’s political culture for years. The regime feeds on persecution of the media. Iraq (152nd) fell back 22 places and is now worryingly approaching its 2008 position (158th).

Noteworthy changes

South Sudan, a new nation facing many challenges, has entered the index in a respectable position (111th) for what is a breakaway from one of the worst ranked countries, Sudan (170th). Burma (169th) has a slightly better position than in previous years as a result of political changes in recent months that have raised hopes but need to be confirmed. Niger (29th) achieved the biggest rise in a single year, 75 places, thanks to a successful political transition.

It was Africa that also saw the biggest falls in the index. Djibouti, a discreet little dictatorship in the Horn of Africa, fell 49 places to 159th. Malawi (146th) fell 67 places because of the totalitarian tendencies of its president, Bingu Wa Mutharika. Uganda, mentioned above, fell 43 places to 139th. Finally, Côte d’Ivoire fell 41 places to 159th because the media were badly hit by the fighting between the supporters of rival presidents Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara.

One of the biggest falls in Latin America was by Brazil, which plunged 41 places to 99th because the high level of violence resulted in the deaths of three journalists and bloggers.

Link: RSF Press Freedom Index 2011/2012

Source: Reporters Without Borders

Review overview
  • tesfaldet January 26, 2012

    iam saying it time & time dont post this UGLY PICTURE who want to see this stupid SELL OUTS SO can you take it down who cares

    • Helen January 26, 2012

      You hate to see the prisoners pictures because it remind you of Isias’ crime.

  • tesfaldet January 26, 2012

    look how come WEYANE IS NOT there you put this to try to make happy your master U S A all those countrys you mention are not the USA fevor so you report that you bean told

    • Gebre January 26, 2012

      you have evry right to cry because, time is against Isaias and I thing, you are one of the Isais servants. Any way, I can’t help.

    • Ahmed saleh January 26, 2012

      My motto is ignore the arrogance , it is not worthy to fall on their denials.

  • Abnet Tesfai January 26, 2012

    good morning tesfaldet
    truth is bitter and hurts.

    • Abnet Tesfai January 26, 2012

      dear eritrean brothers
      Abama has sent one unit of commando to a Somalia town to rescue one single American lady with another national abducted by Somalia captors. the lady was saved and abama called to her father to inform for the success of the operation. this shows how other countries care about their citizens.
      what about dictator issayas?
      1. when around 400 Eritreans were dead in the Mediterranean sea, he was laughing during his interview because he was healthiest person when he was asked by sulieman abe. at that moment the obituary of these nationals was dispersed in Eritrea and Eritrean mothers were crying for their children.
      2. when the Eritrean kidneys were sold in the Deseret of Sinai and Sudan, issayas was more cared about the Eritrean youth to come back home with a pile of money.
      ohhhhhhhhhhh…… the Eritrean nationality became the cheapest in the by the dictator.

  • ahmed saleh January 26, 2012

    HOLD, HOLD all assenna friends,
    Please do not respond to this garbage. Ignore that arrogants and concentrate on positive
    thinkings with your kind of likings. It is not worthy to fall on their category. Try to be a good
    example to others if we are honestly for positive change.

    • ahmed saleh January 26, 2012

      sorry my respond was for tesfaldet posting

      • ahmed saleh January 26, 2012

        As patriotic Eritreans like them who sacrifice their young age and
        ready to give their life to protect me and give me freedom and healthy future after they gave me all what they got, now ………… bla bla. When I ask why ????????????????. NO SATISFACORY ANSWER FROM

  • tesfaldet January 26, 2012

    HI GEBRE your name looks like AGAMES SO you know this is WEYANES website time is on your brother MELES SHENAWI so stop when MELES come to washington it was sicret no body know abaout it but when esayas come to NEWYORK you see what happen so time is on your stinking WEYANE

    • ahmed saleh January 26, 2012

      IGNORE THE ARROGANTS, PERIOD. They are not worthy.

  • tesfaldet January 26, 2012

    JAST KEEP POSTING THEIR picture or cray to the human rights eritrea people dont carles abaout SELLOUTS INJOYING their life with picefull securty of their cty so stop westing your time

    • ahmed saleh January 26, 2012


    • weldu January 26, 2012

      Ata wedi SiraH yebilkan diyu? or you are payed by ayte agame issayas to post a supportive comment for your master a$% licker. Gebre= Agelgali malet eyu ata asha halay …

  • Cambo January 26, 2012

    ህግደፋውያን እንታይ ይብሉ?
    “ኤርትራ ብቑጠባን ብፖለቲካውን ዕቤት ንቕድሚት ትውንጨፍ ኣላ።”
    እወ! ትውንጨፍ ኣላ። መርኣያኡ እኳ ብታርታ “ናጽነት ፕረስ” ካብ ዓለም ደጋፍ ጭራ ወጺኣ።

    • SINGAPO-ERITREAN January 26, 2012

      Sacastic ኣይትኹን,ነታ “ሓቂ” ኣይትዕጸፋ,ብድሕሪት ጀሚርካ እንተቖጺርካ እኮ ኤርትራ ቀዳመይቲ እያ ትኸውን !!!!ወደ ህዋላ ዙር ከተባለ,ኤርትራ ኣንደኛ ናት እኮ!!! ሃ…ሃ…ሃ

  • HGDF January 26, 2012

    We never care about this ranking because we have once made our choice.
    Choice 1: CIA sponsored “Free press”, dependency, slavary, ethnic and religious conflict then be ranked below the big bosses.
    Choice 2: media serving the truth and people’s interest, self-dependent nation where its people live in harmony with each other and be ranked last in a CIA sposored race where no one konws where they are running to except cia.

  • Gaul Mendefera(Rahel) January 26, 2012

    HGDF actually ur real name is”Popular Front for Dictatorship and Jailing(PFDJ)”
    you still use the same fashion, you are arrogant like Isayas regime.
    why you give your failures reason to USA or Ethiopia? while your arrogant leader, Isayas kills our people?
    you arrogant, how can you dare that to give this a reason?
    atleast we dont have any private media? radio, TV, Newspappers all are the Isayas’s Front media.
    why dont you talk the truth? when you hide the truth, everything get worsen..
    if you talk it the real problem, then we can find a solution to our people so that we can bury Isayas and his regime in red sea, as a result our people will breath a fresh air…
    death to Popular Front for Dicatorship and Jailing(PFDJ)…

  • Gaul Mendefera(Rahel) January 27, 2012

    Isayas wants to govern Eritrea even after he died…
    even after he died, people will build for him a church so that they will make a pray there to wake up from his death once again.
    isayas asked one up on time:
    Q. how do u describe Eritrea after you or without you?
    A. wowwwwwww, Without me?
    Q.yes without you?
    A. i dont guess you to ask me this kind of Questions, but it looks like A BIG HELL.
    Q.why dont you make it be heaven eritrea without you/
    A. some people like Woyane,Ethiopia,USA, AU, IGAD say that” even the IMPOSSIBLE” mean ” I am possible” but for me impossible means impossible
    Q, well mister president, can u mention some countries who are very undemocratic?
    A. well it is clear… USA EU…Ethiopia, woyane, south africa, Gabon…
    Q. sounds great, what about countries with full of freedom, justice and democracy?
    A. this is much clear than any question you asked me… ERITREA,Eritrea , IRAN,North korea…
    Q. oh mister president.. how do you describe the Eritrea people?
    A. oh just the best people in the world, we are number one in the Africa content?
    Q, good in which factor you are number one?a lot of people say Eritrea is number one in prison center ? and even the only country in Africa without any private media and without any political party? is that what you make you number one in Africa?
    A. you hell and agent of woyane.. where is the evidence, where is the evidence?
    source: hadas eritrea news paper.