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RSF: Bahrain Joins World Press Freedom Blacklist after Setback by 2 Ranks

2017-04-27 - 1:00 am

Bahrain Mirror: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said that Bahrain joined the Black List in its 2017 World Press Freedom Index, as it imprisons journalists, and registered a setback in 2 ranks in this year's index.

In its annual report, RSF said, "The World Press Freedom map is getting darker. The global indicator calculated by RSF has never been so high, which means that media freedom is under threat now more than ever." 

"Three more countries sank into the darkest depths of the Index in 2017: Burundi (down 4 at 160th), Egypt (down 2 at 161st) and Bahrain (down 2 at 164th). A total of 21 countries are now colored black on the press freedom map because the situation there is classified as "very bad," and 51 (two more than last year) are colored red, meaning that the situation in these countries is classified as "bad." In all, the situation has worsened in nearly two thirds (62.2%) of the 180 countries in the Index," the watchdog added in its report.

On this level, RSF clarified, "The other two countries [Egypt and Bahrain] that have entered the Index's black zone are both from the region with the worst score - the Middle East. Many journalists have been imprisoned in both countries- 24 in Egypt and 14 in Bahrain - and they both detain their journalists for very long periods of time."

"The situation is no better in the Kingdom of Bahrain (down 2 at 164th) [than in Egypt], which is back in the black zone where it always was, except for a brief respite in 2016. Dissidents or independent commentators such as Nabeel Rajab, the head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, pay a high price for daring to criticize the authorities in tweets or interviews. The regime intensified its repressive methods in 2011, when it feared it might be overthrown. Any content or media suspected of posing a threat to the country's unity is simply suppressed, and detained journalists face the possibility of long jail terms or even life imprisonment," the report went on to say.

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