Crimea is in the top five territories with worst level of press freedom – Freedom House

Дата: 28 April 2017
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Russian-occupied Crimea is among five territories with the worst level of press freedom.

As stated in the materials of the annual report Freedom of the Press – 2017 prepared by the international organization Freedom House.

For the third consecutive year the level of freedom in Crimea is estimated at 94 points out of 100 possible, where 100 is the maximum level of unfreedom. The only worse-rated countries are North Korea, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

In connection with the assessment of the Crimea, Freedom House reminds that it analyzes certain territories separately from independent countries. Freedom House determines which territories to analyze separately, based on a number of criteria. The Freedom of the Press report assesses the level of press freedom in certain geographical boundaries, regardless of whether the territory is under the influence of the state, non-state actors or foreign forces.

Freedom House believes that the level of civil liberties and political rights on the peninsula is different from the state of these rights and freedoms in the rest of Ukraine.

At the same time, Ukraine, which is ranked separately from the Crimea, fell into the group of countries with “partially free press”. Ukraine, like last year, scored 53 points.

In 2015, the situation with freedom of media in Ukraine was worse the dependence of the country’s press was estimated at 58 points.

Russia and Belarus are defined as countries “without press freedom.” They received 83 negative points from the 100 highest.

Freedom House assigned Ukraine to a group of countries that next year “may undergo significant changes regarding freedom of speech for better or worse”.

“Recent democratic gains have bolstered media freedom overall, but restrictions on Russian outlets and attempts to foster “patriotic” reporting raise questions about the government’s commitment to media autonomy”, – explained in the organization.

At the same time, Freedom House admits that Ukraine is now confronted with Kremlin-controlled outlets that disseminate disinformation, undermine the legitimacy of Ukrainian institutions, and exacerbate Ukraine’s security crisis, therefore Kyiv has turned to restrictions, limiting access to numerous Russian outlets and denying entry to dozens of Russian journalists.

However, the organization deems the prohibition of the independent Russian television station Dozhd as a bad sign.

“The conflict in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea are unlikely to be resolved quickly or easily, meaning the Ukrainian authorities’ willingness and quickness to compromise the free flow of information in the name of national security could erode press freedom in the country in the years to come”, – emphasized the researches of the Freedom House.

As a reminder, Ukraine received the rating of a partially free country in the report Freedom in the World – 2017, partly free – in the report Freedom of the Press – 2016, partly free – in the report Freedom on the Net – 2016, and has an assessment of the level of democracy 4, 68 on a scale of 1 to 7, where 7 is the worst possible estimate, in the report Nations in Transit – 2016.

Freedom House is the oldest non-governmental organization in the United States of America. The organization is dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world. We recognize that freedom is possible only in democratic political environments where governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, and belief.

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