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Sri Lanka press freedom worsens – RSF

Sri Lanka's press freedom is continuing to deteriorate according to the World Press Freedom Index.

The annual report, compiled by Reporters without Borders (RSF), saw Sri Lanka drop to 163rd place out of 178 countries that are ranked, placing it below countries such as Pakistan and Azerbaijan, and just one place above Somalia.

"In Sri Lanka (163rd), the stranglehold of the Rajapakse clan forced the last few opposition journalists to flee the country. Any that stayed behind were regularly subjected to harassment and threats. Attacks were less common but impunity and official censorship of independent news sites put an end to pluralism and contributed more than ever to self-censorship by almost all media outlets," the RSF statement said.

Eritrea and North Korea made up the bottom of the list, but the report highlights Vietnam and China as 'worsening considerably' during the last year.

Finland and Norway topped the list, while Syria, Bahrain and Yemen have received their worst ever ranking.

South Sudan entered the index for the first time at 111th place, while the country it separated from, Sudan was one of the worst countries ranked at 170.

See related articles:

‘Sri Lanka's woeful January way-points’ - CPJ (11 Jan 2012)

Sri Lanka places conditions on unblocked website (16 Dec 2011)

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