Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today (12 February):
As in previous years, Reporters Without Borders has assessed the situation of the media and journalists worldwide and presented the results in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index. This index serves as an appeal to all governments to safeguard the freedom of the press and to ensure the safety of journalists in their countries. I wholeheartedly support this appeal.
It comes as no surprise that Russia (148th position) and Turkey (154th position) are still very low down on the list, which means that they urgently have to improve the situation of the media and journalists.
The index reflects the worrying situation in current regions of crisis in Central and Western Africa. The dramatic deterioration of Mali (122th position) and the Central African Republic (109th position) compared to last year highlights the fact that the freedom of the press is extremely vulnerable during armed conflicts. In both countries journalists are not only victims of targeted attacks and kidnappings, but are also interrogated and threatened by government entities.
Unfortunately, the ranking also provides proof of the fact that even in many countries of the EU press freedom is not guaranteed. Greece and Bulgaria occupy positions 99 and 100 respectively out of a total of 180. Both countries were massively downgraded from the previous year, thus reflecting a dangerous development not in line with the basic principles of the European Union.
Today (12 February) Reporters Without Borders publishes its latest World Press Freedom Index, which assesses the situation of the media in 180 countries and regions of the world up to 15 October 2013. European countries top the index, whereas the last three positions, as in previous years, are held by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.
Compared to last year, Germany has moved up by three places to 14th position.