Bahrain Enters “Black Zone” in 2017 Press Freedom Index


Reporters without Borders (RSF) said the 2017 World Press Freedom Index it compiled shows an increase in the number of countries where the media freedom situation is very grave and highlights the scale and variety of the obstacles to media freedom throughout the world.


According to the international watchdog, the global indicator calculated by RSF has never been so high, which means that media freedom is under threat now more than ever. Three more countries sank into the darkest depths of the Index in 2017: Burundi (down 4 at 160th), Egypt (down 2 at 161st) and Bahrain (down 2 at 164th).


RSF highlighted that two countries have entered the Index’s black zone, both from the region with the worst score – the Middle East. Many journalists have been imprisoned in both countries– 24 in Egypt and 14 in Bahrain – and they both detain their journalists for very long periods of time.


In regards to Bahrain, the organization underlined that dissidents or independent commentators such as Nabeel Rajab, the head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, pay a high price for daring to criticize the authorities in tweets or interviews. “The regime intensified its repressive methods in 2011, when it feared it might be overthrown. Any content or media suspected of posing a threat to the country’s unity is simply suppressed, and detained journalists face the possibility of long jail terms or even life imprisonment.”


To read a full report about the Index, click here.