Updated at 17:19,07-01-2021

Press Freedom Index-2016: Pressure on Belarusian mass media increases

Kiryl Prapiaska, Euroradio

Belarus is still in the group of countries where the mass media situation is ‘difficult’, the new Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders shows.

The best situation is in Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland and Jamaica.

Our country is still in the 157th position out of 180. However, the press freedom index has worsened in Belarus – it has gained 6.34 ‘negative’ points and totals 54.32 now.

“The Lukashenka regime is trying to appeal to the international community and get rid of the image of ‘Europe’s last dictator’ in an attempt to weaken Russia’s influence on Belarus. Political prisoners were released but nothing else has changed. Freelance journalists cannot get accreditation and are being prosecuted. The Ministry of information has enhanced its control of the distribution network of printed editions and the Internet and has forbidden the usage of software allowing to bypass the online censorship,” Reporters Without Borders wrote.

Russia is in the 148th place, Ukraine – 10th, Poland – 47th, Lithuania – 35th and Latvia – 24th.

The worst situation is in China (176th), Syria (177th), Turkmenistan (178th), North Korea (179th) and Eritrea (180th).

The index is based on experts’ surveys from all over the word in 20 languages. Besides the quality analysis, the number of acts of violence directed against journalists is taken into account.