Belarus ranks 157th out of 180 countries in 2014 World Press Freedom Index
Belarus is ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders earlier this month.
Belarus was 157th last year, 168th in 2012 and 154th in 2010.
“Some post-Soviet states have decided they need no oil or gas to crack down on the media,” the report says. “In Belarus, independent journalists continue to fight on unequal terms against ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ and its propaganda. Those who cover street protests are routinely detained. The KGB and the judicial authorities often use ‘combating extremism’ as a pretext for silencing those who refuse to toe the official line. A book containing the winning photos of the 2011 Belarus Press Photo competition was banned in 2013 and one of the leading independent publishing houses [the Lohvinaw Publishing House] was stripped of its license. The magazine Arche and independent media based abroad such as Belsat TV are subjected to all sorts of administrative harassment.”
Finland, the Netherlands and Norway are at the top of the list for the second consecutive year. The press is said to be the least free in Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.
As for the countries bordering Belarus, Poland is ranked 19th, Lithuania 32nd, Latvia 37th, Ukraine 127th and Russia 148th.