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Kyrgyzstan gains one position in World Press Freedom Index 2020

Kyrgyzstan has gained one position in the World Press Freedom Index 2020 and takes the 82nd place. Reporters without Borders international organization says.

The report notes that pluralism of the Kyrgyz media is exceptional in Central Asia but the polarization of Kyrgyz society is reflected both within the media themselves and in the environment for journalists.

Although the crackdown on the media that preceded the 2017 presidential elections is long over, investigative journalism is still hesitant — hampered by difficulties in accessing information and subjected to a great deal of harassment, including physical violence, cyber-attacks and interrogations.

From the report by Reporters Without Borders

«Revelations about corruption can still be very dangerous for independent journalists and media outlets, as was seen in the Matraimov affair,» the document says.

Journalists will also continue to lack security until legislative reforms cap damage awards (which have been astronomic), abolish the president’s special protection and ensure judicial independence.

«There is still a great deal of self-censorship on such subjects as inter-ethnic relations. Certain kinds of hate speech still go punished, but the fight against «extremism» is sometimes used as grounds for ill-advised prosecutions of social media users,» the report says.

In addition, authors of the report noted an improvement of media freedom situation in Uzbekistan. The republic has gained four points, leaving Kazakhstan behind — the 156th and the 157th places, respectively. Tajikistan takes the 161st place, Turkmenistan — the 179th out of 180. Both countries are in the so-called «black zone» — states with the worst press freedom situation.

Russia, like last year, takes the 149th place. Norway has become the leader of the ranking for the fourth year in a row. It is followed by Finland. Denmark takes the 3rd place.