By Tarik Elbarakah
By Tarik Elbarakah
Morocco World News
Rabat, January 31, 2013
Morocco’s status was upgraded by two points to be ranked 136 in the Reporters Without Borders’ annual World Press Freedom Index released on Tuesday.
Morocco leaped from 138 in the 2012 index to 136 this time, and it was described by Reporters Without Borders as a country “where the authorities have used promises and compromise to defuse calls for political and/or social and economic change”.
In spite of the progress in this year’s index, which was based on a range of criteria, from legislation to violence against journalists, the NGO remains worried about the current state of the media freedom in the country especially after the Arab’s spring major developments that marked the region.
The report points out that, in spite of the promises of reform made by the new PJD-led government, no significant change occurred, especially as regards the decriminalization of media offenses.
“Media reform was announced after Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane took office in November 2011 but his government is dragging its feet on the promised changes, especially decriminalization of media offences,” the report said.
“Decisions on such matters as the granting and withdrawal of accreditation are often arbitrary and lacking in transparency,” it added.
Tunisia, a country where a regime change occurred, lost four positions to be ranked 138, while Algeria has fallen by three points in this year’s index, as it 125.
For the third year in a row, Finland was rated the country that respects press freedom the most followed by the Netherlands (2nd) and Norway (3rd).
Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea occupy the last three places in the index for the second consecutive year followed by Syria, which ranked in 2012 as the deadliest country for journalists.
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