Turkmenistan improves its position in the press freedom ranking for the fourth year in a row

The international non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has published the 20th annual edition of the World Press Freedom Index 2022 survey.

The organization assessed the conditions in which journalism is carried out in 180 countries.

The index used a new methodology and assessed the situation on the basis of five indicators: political context, legal framework, economic context, socio-cultural context and security.

“Indicators are measured based on a quantitative study of abuses against journalists and the media, as well as a qualitative study based on responses to 123 questions from hundreds of RSF press freedom experts selected by RSF (journalists, academics and human rights activists),” the authors of the index explain .

As a result, Turkmenistan took 177th place out of 180, gaining 25.01 points.

“News in Turkmenistan, one of the most closed countries in the world, exists only to glorify the regime,” it says . the index

In 2021, when a different scoring system was used, Turkmenistan was ranked 178th, in 2020 it was the penultimate 179th place, and in 2019 it was the last 180th.

According to RSF, after the March 2022 presidential elections, which resulted in Turkmenistan being led by the son of the previous president, censorship and surveillance of journalists intensified. All media existing in the country are obliged to adhere to the line of the government and create a positive image of Turkmenistan. Criticism of the President and other officials is prohibited. Journalists who dared to disobey the rules were harassed, imprisoned and tortured.

All information publications are controlled by the government, despite a law passed in 2013 prohibiting censorship. Foreign information sites about Turkmenistan are blocked, although there is no open registry of blocked resources.

A small number of journalists who remain in the country, as well as sources for foreign publications, work underground, risking jail time. The authorities also put pressure on their relatives.

Kyrgyzstan was recognized as the freest for the press among neighboring countries in the Central Asian region, which took 72nd place (64.25 points). This is followed by Kazakhstan - 122nd place (48.28), Uzbekistan - 133rd place (45.74) and Tajikistan - 152nd place (40.26). It is worth noting that all these countries improved their positions in the new scoring system.

The countries with the freest press are Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Portugal and Costa Rica.

Among the worst are North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Turkmenistan, Myanmar (Burma), China, Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq, Syria, Palestine.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan