India down in press freedom index, lowest since 2002

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India has dropped to 140th rank, a fall of 9 places, in the list of 179 countries in the latest World Press Freedom Index, which its authors said is the lowest for the “world’s biggest democracy” since 2002.

“In Asia, India (140th, -9) is at its lowest since 2002 because of increasing impunity for violence against journalists and because Internet censorship continues to grow. China (173rd, +1) shows no sign of improving. Its prisons still hold many journalists and netizens, while increasingly unpopular Internet censorship continues to be a major obstacle to access to information,” Reporters Without Borders said in its World Press Freedom Index for the year 2013.

In almost all parts of the world, influential countries that are regarded as “regional models” have fallen in the index. Brazil (108th, -9), South America’s economic engine, continued last year’s fall because five journalists were killed in 2012 and because of persistent problems affecting media pluralism.

China (173rd, +1) shows no sign of improving. Its prisons still hold many journalists and netizens, while increasingly unpopular Internet censorship continues to be a major obstacle to access to information.

As last year, the list is topped by three European countries – Finland, Netherlands and Norway.
Afghanistan has climbed 22 places in this year’s Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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