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“Press freedom must be defended everywhere in the world with the same energy and the same insistence,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said today as his organisation issued its eighth annual world press freedom index.
“It is disturbing to see European democracies such as France, Italy and Slovakia fall steadily in the rankings year after year,” Julliard said. “Europe should be setting an example as regards civil liberties. How can you condemn human rights violations abroad if you do not behave irreproachably at home? The Obama effect, which has enabled the United States to recover 20 places in the index, is not enough to reassure us.”
Reporters Without Borders compiles the index every year on the basis of questionnaires that are completed by hundreds of journalists and media experts around the world. This year’s index reflects press freedom violations that took place between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009.