Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Christoph Strässer, issued the following statement today (12 February 2015) on the publication of the World Press Freedom Index 2015:
In the World Press Freedom Index 2015, Reporters without Borders has assessed the situation facing the media and journalists worldwide once again this year. The Index serves as an appeal to all governments to uphold freedom of the press and to protect journalists in their country. I expressly support this demand.
The fact that countries such as Russia (ranked 152nd) and China (ranked 176th) are at the end of the list unfortunately reflects what I see in my day-to-day work as Human Rights Commissioner.
The Index shows the disturbing situation in crisis regions. The continuing poor ranking of countries such as Ukraine (ranked 129th), Iraq (ranked 159th) and Syria (ranked 177th) is a clear indication that freedom of the press is extremely curtailed in armed conflicts. Not only are journalists the victims of targeted attacks and abductions in many of these countries – they are also subjected to interrogation and threats by governments.
Unfortunately, the Index also shows that freedom of the press is not properly upheld in many EU countries either. The poor ranking of some EU member states, such as Bulgaria (ranked 100th), means that we have a duty to continue expressing criticism and calling on our partners to adhere to the principles of the European Union.
I am pleased that Germany has risen once again in the ranking to 12th position, and that it is one of the highest-ranked countries again this year. This ranking serves both to recognise what we have achieved and to motivate us to make further improvements.
Reporters without Borders is publishing the current World Press Freedom Index today (12 February). The Index compares the situation facing the media in 180 countries and regions up to 14 October 2014. European countries top the list. As has been the case for years, the lowest-ranked countries are Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea. Germany’s ranking rose two places to 12th position in comparison with the previous year.