Israel Loses Prized ‘Free’ Press Status; Kuwait Tops Arab World; PA near bottom
In a report released over the weekend to coincide with World Press Freedom Day today, Washington-based non-profit Freedom House lowered Israel’s rank from 59 to 72 out of 195 countries surveyed, citing restrictions on journalists’ freedom of movement, increased self-censorship during wartime and “biased reporting.”
The report found the Middle East to have the lowest level of press freedom in the world, with three in every four Middle Easterners living in one of 15 “not free” Middle Eastern nations.
Only four Middle Eastern countries – Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon and Egypt – were deemed “partly free” by the organization, receiving rankings of 72, 115, 118 and 128 respectively, out of the 195 countries surveyed.
The Palestinian Authority and Libya received the least favorable ratings among the many Middle Eastern nations, to receive the “not free” rank, coming in respectively at 184 and 190