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Reporters Without Borders: Armenia has the highest level of press freedom in the Southern Caucasus

The international journalist association �Reporters Without Borders� published a new worldwide index of press freedom. The first eight places concerning the level of freedom in the mass media take Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Out of the former Soviet republics Latvia (10) and Estonia (11) rate highest. Moldova ocuupies the 78th position, Armenia 83rd , Georgia 94th, Tajikistan 95th, Kirgistan 107th, Lazakhstan 131st, Azerbaijan 136th , Ukraine 138th, Uzbekistan 142nd, Belarus 144th and Turkmenistan 164th. Russia occupies the 140th position. In the commentary it is stated that the tragic events connected with the capture of a school in Beslan �demonstrated the Cremlin�s control over the national TV stations�. In addition the murder of the chief editor of the Russian Journal Forbes Paul Chlebnikov is mentioned.

The USA occupy the 22nd position, Israel the 36th, Iran the 158th and China the 162nd. In total the situation of 167 states was viewed. The last positions are occupied by North Korea, Cuba and Myanmar. The report also notes that since the invasion of Irak in March 2003 44 journalist were killed there.

We mention that the rating was created on the basis of polls among members of public organizations, journalists and experts.

Source: I� REGNUM

� 1993-2003

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