Freedom of press: Armenia advances its position in the annual report of Reporters without Borders

‘Reporters Without Borders’ international organization has released its annual freedom of press index, where Armenia, as compared to last year, improved its position by ten points, reaching rank 101 instead of the previous 111.

To compile this index, Reporters without Borders, the France-based organization that advocates freedom of the press, prepared a questionnaire with 43 criteria that assess the state of press freedom in each country. It includes every kind of violation directly affecting journalists (such as murders, imprisonment, physical attacks and threats) and news media (censorship, confiscation of newspaper issues, searches and harassment).

The report, called ‘Europe falls from its pedestal, no respite in the dictatorships’, where 178 countries are included, Armenia’s neighbor Georgia has appeared on the rank 99, falling back by 18 points, as compared to last year. Azerbaijan is in the 152nd place on the list, as compared to last year’s 146.

Ashot Melikyan, head of Freedom of Speech Protection Committee, says that the improvement of Armenia’s positions is linked with the fact that as compared to 2008 and 2009, cases of physical violence committed against journalists, as well as cases of violation of the right to information retrieving and providing are decreased in Armenia. Melikyan believes that the improvement of freedom of press index may also be connected with the drafting a bill on decriminalizing the ‘Law on Insult and Slander’ in Armenia.

“Armenia must improve its positions by ten points for years in order to appear, at least, on the list of semi-free countries with its level of freedom of press,” Melikyan says adding that the improvement is also connected with the current politically peaceful situation in Armenia.,1034.html