Bahrain Drops 2 Rankings in Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index 2018
2018-04-26 - 2:44 am
Bahrain Mirror: The Freedom of the Press Index 2018, published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), showed a two-rank decline in press freedom in Bahrain, ranking the Gulf Kingdom at 166 this year, dropping from a 164 ranking last year.
The report said that conflicts in the Middle East, both armed and political, continue to be the leading threat to the region's journalists
"When they are not the victims of artillery bombardment, air strikes, sniper fire, forgotten mines or abduction, journalists are accused of being active participants in the region's diplomatic crises."
The RSF report further noted that Bahrain (166th) uses the fight against terrorism pretext to continue holding journalists who reported information that the authorities would have preferred to suppress. "They include Ahmed el-Mousawi, a photographer who covered opposition protests and who is serving a ten-year jail term for allegedly "distributing SIM cards" to "persons implicated in terrorist acts." They also include Nabeel Rajab, a blogger and human rights defender who was sentenced to five years in prison in February 2018 for tweets in 2015 criticizing torture in Bahrain and the Arab coalition's intervention in Yemen."
The report highlighted that the Middle East's countries are yet again at the bottom of RSF's World Press Freedom Index, stressing that armed conflicts, terrorism charges against independent journalists and media, and growing online surveillance and censorship make reporting extremely dangerous for the region's journalists.
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