Egypt Ranks 143 in Annual Report on Press Freedom
The annual report by Reporters Without Borders has ranked Egypt very low among 175 countries in the area of media and press freedom in 2009. Egypt was ranked number 143 in freedom of press, jumping 13 places compared to last year. Egypt came in lower compared to ten other Arab countries such as Kuwait, Lebanon, UAE, Qatar, Mauritania, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and Algeria.
The report did not mention any cases of abuse against the media and press freedom during the year 2009 except for the continued detention of blogger Karim Amer on charges of contempt of religion.
The organization prepared its report based on the commitment of the authorities to journalistic standards, political interference and repression directed against the press and journalists, the extent of efforts to respect human rights provided to the media, and measures taken against the media such as censorship and the banning of newspapers.
The report said that private newspapers in Egypt are competing to attract the attention of readers despite government pressure in the form of legal, administrative and financial constraints, noting that journalists in the independent press are making great efforts to defeat the restrictions imposed on them.
Denmark, Finland , Ireland, Norway and Sweden came in as the top five countries in the report, while countries like Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan , Iran and Burma came at the bottom of the list.
The report pointed out that Israel did not occupy the first rank in the classification of press freedom in the Middle East for the first time, preceded by Kuwait and Lebanon, because of the bombing of buildings that housed Palestinian media institutions.