May 04 2014

Jordan ranked 155 out of 197 countries in Freedom House report

By Mohammad Ghazal 03 May 2014
AMMAN -- Jordan ranked 155th out of 197 countries in Freedom House's "Freedom of the Press 2014" report, falling by 10 places compared to last year.

In the report, Jordan obtained a press freedom score of 68 and was classified as a "Not Free" country when it comes to media freedom.

In the 2013 report, Jordan was ranked 145th globally and had a press freedom of 63.

"Global press freedom fell to its lowest level in over a decade in 2013, as hopes raised by the Arab Spring were further dashed by major regression in Egypt, Libya, and Jordan, and marked setbacks also occurred in Turkey, Ukraine and a number of countries in East Africa," the report said.

Sweden ranked first globally, followed by Norway, the Netherlands, Finland and Belgium.

Despite a historically stable media landscape, Jordan underwent its largest score change in a decade, falling from 63 to 68, the report said.

"Local journalists in 2013 endured harassment, threats, extralegal detentions, and physical attacks by security forces as well as unknown assailants," the report claimed.

"Authorities systematically prevented or impeded members of the press from reporting on controversial topics, including parliamentary elections in January and pro-reform demonstrations," Freedom House charged.

"In addition, an amended press law required editors of online news sites to obtain licences to operate, and a prominent independent newspaper temporarily suspended operations in July, citing financial problems," the report added.

© Jordan Times 2014

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