Procedure : 2011/2081(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0176/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0176/2013

Debates :

PV 12/06/2013 - 17
CRE 12/06/2013 - 17

Votes :

PV 13/06/2013 - 7.3

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0274

REPORT     
PDF 331kDOC 795k
20 May 2013
PE 506.205v02-00 A7-0176/2013

on the freedom of press and media in the world

(2011/2081(INI))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Marietje Schaake

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 ANNEXES
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the freedom of press and media in the world

(2011/2081(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,

–  having regard to Article 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, recognising the right to freedom of expression of children,

–  having regard to the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council of 28 March 2008 (7/36) extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression(1),

–  having regard to the reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue(2), which also underline the applicability of international human rights norms and standards regarding the right to freedom of opinion and expression on the internet considered as a communications medium,

–  having regard to the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council of 5 July 2012 entitled ‘The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet’(3), which recognises the importance of human rights protection and the free flow of information online,

–  having regard to the report of 21 March 2011 by the UN Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, John Ruggie, entitled ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework’(4),

–  having regard to UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/1738 of 23 December 2006 on attacks against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflicts(5),

–  having regard to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949(6), in particular Article 79 of its Additional Protocol I regarding the protection of journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict,

–  having regard to the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, endorsed on 12 April 2012 by the UN Chief Executives Board(7),

–  having regard to Resolution 1920(2013) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, entitled ‘The State of Media Freedom in Europe’ and adopted on 24 January 2013,

–  having regard to the work carried out by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on media freedom, and in particular the reports of its Representative on Freedom of the Media,

–  having regard to the reports by NGOs on the media such as those by Reporters Without Borders (Press Freedom Indexes), Freedom House (Freedom of the Press reports), and the International Press Institute (Death Watch and Annual IPI World Press Freedom Review),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 February 2013 on ‘Corporate social responsibility: promoting society’s interests and a route to sustainable and inclusive recovery’(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 February 2013 on ‘Corporate social responsibility: accountable, transparent and responsible business behaviour and sustainable growth’(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2012 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World and the European Union’s policy on the matter(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2012 on the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) of the International Telecommunication Union, and the possible expansion of the scope of international telecommunication regulations(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2012 on ‘A Digital Freedom Strategy in EU Foreign Policy’(12),

–  having regard to the Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (11855/2012) adopted by the Council on 25 June 2012,

–  having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 13 June 2012 concerning the EU Special Representative for Human Rights(13),

–  having regard to the declarations made by High Representative Catherine Ashton on behalf of the European Union on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day(14),

–  having regard to the Joint Communication of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 12 December 2011 entitled ‘Human Rights and Democracy at the Heart of EU External Action - Towards a more effective approach’ (COM(2011)0886),

–  having regard to the communication of 12 December 2011 by the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda on the ‘No Disconnect Strategy’(15),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 25 October 2011 entitled ‘A renewed EU strategy 2011-2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility’ (COM(2011)0681)),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 July 2011 on EU external policies in favour of democratisation(16),

–  having regard to the Joint Communication of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission of 25 May 2011 entitled ‘A New Response to a Changing Neighbourhood’ (COM(2011)0303),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 December 2008 on media literacy in a digital world(17),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1889/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing a financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide (EIDHR)(18), as well as to all other EU external financing instruments,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2006 on the human rights and democracy clause in European Union agreements(19),

–  having regard to its resolutions on urgent cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, including its country-specific resolutions raising concerns over press and media freedom and particularly the imprisonment of journalists and bloggers,

–  having regard to Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and in particular to its provision that ‘the freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected’,

–  having regard to Articles 3 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union and to Article 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the European Union’s guidelines on human rights,

–  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights of the Council of Europe and the ongoing negotiations on the EU’s accession thereto,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0176/2013),

Principles and role of the press and media

A.  whereas the right to freedom of expression is a universal human right, which lies at the basis of democracy, and is essential to the realisation of other rights which people around the world strive to obtain, such as development, dignity and the fulfilment of every human being;

B.  whereas restrictions on freedom of expression have serious consequences, should be very limited, and can only be justified subject to narrow and strict conditions provided by laws which themselves are considered legitimate under international law; whereas freedom of expression is a fundamental right and is closely linked to press and media freedom and pluralism; whereas states that have signed up to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) are obliged to ensure that independent, free and pluralistic press and media are guaranteed;

C.  whereas media platforms are essential for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression; whereas the independent press, as a collective manifestation of free expression, is one of the key actors in the media landscape, acting as a watchdog of democracy;

D.  whereas freedom of the press, the media, the digital sector and journalism are considered to be public goods;

E.  whereas (digital) media platforms increasingly have a global nature as well as a rising number of users;

F.  whereas the internet and the media are instruments employed by human rights defenders;

G.  whereas net neutrality is an essential principle for the open internet, fostering communication by ensuring competition and transparency, and is also beneficial for business opportunities and stimulates innovation, job creation and growth;

H.  whereas freedom of speech and expression and of the media and the freedom of journalists are under threat all over the world, and journalists are often also human rights defenders and promoters of freedom of association, opinion, religion and belief; whereas, however, journalists are often persecuted and imprisoned;

I.  whereas new digital and online media platforms have contributed to increased diversity and pluralism;

J.  whereas the EU’s efforts and programmes fostering and protecting press and media freedom worldwide need to be optimised, building on the valuable work of civil society and journalists’ organisations;

K.  whereas the EU can only be credible on the global stage if press and media freedoms are safeguarded and respected within the Union itself;

Recent developments

1.  Recognises that governments have the primary responsibility for guaranteeing and protecting freedom of the press and media; points out that governments also have the primary responsibility for hampering freedom of the press and media and, in the worst cases, are increasingly resorting to legal pressures in order to restrict that freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation and laws on national security, treason or subversion; notes that a balance between national security issues and freedom of information needs to be struck in order to prevent abuses and guarantee the independence of the press and media; recognises that media empires owned by politicians are sometimes empowered to carry out misinformation campaigns; emphasises that it is essential that the press and the media can operate independently and free of pressure through political and financial means; is alarmed at the general downward trend in the grading of the press and media freedom environments in various countries both within and outside Europe, according to the latest annual Indexes and Analysis Reports (see list in the Annex at the end of this report);

2.  Emphasises that free, independent and pluralistic online and traditional media are one of the cornerstones of democracy and pluralism; recognises the importance of information resources as real guarantees of freedom and media pluralism; points out that maintaining and strengthening the freedom and independence of the media in the world is in the common interest; notes that the role of free and independent media and the free exchange of information are of the utmost importance in the context of democratic change occurring in non-democratic regimes;

3.  Deplores the fact that journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity; emphasises, therefore, the importance of combating impunity; stresses that the authorities cannot deal with threats and violence directed at journalists or ensure their safety unless the political, judicial and police authorities take decisive action against those who attack journalists and their work; points out that the effects of impunity have an impact not only on the freedom of the press, but also on the daily work of journalists, as well creating a climate of fear and self-censorship; believes that the EU should take a tougher stance towards countries that constantly allow such acts to go unpunished, and calls on all states to guarantee the safety of journalists;

4.  Stresses that laws, statutory regulation, intimidation, fines and highly concentrated ownership by politicians or others with conflicting interests are all factors that can limit the freedom to acquire and access information and that can result in threats to freedom of expression;

5.  Stresses that indirect pressure on the press and the media can be brought by governments; considers that in many countries the media rely heavily on government advertising, which can then become a tool to pressurise the media, and that licences or fiscal penalties can also be used to restrict the operation of critical media;

6.  Deplores the fact that the criminalisation of expression is on the rise; recalls that journalists worldwide are frequently imprisoned because of their work; is aware of the use of defamation, blasphemy and libel laws, as well as legislation referring to ‘the degrading of the country’s image abroad’ or to ‘homosexual propaganda’ in order to imprison or censor journalists and block free expression; regrets that censorship fosters self-censorship; calls for an end to the harassment of journalists, who should be able to carry out their work in an independent manner without fear of violence and recrimination, and for the immediate release of journalists and bloggers wrongfully imprisoned because of their work;

7.  Strongly condemns the fact that many journalists have no access to legal assistance while their profession increasingly finds itself in the frontline of the struggle for human rights, whether online or offline;

8.  Considers the trend of concentrated media ownership in large conglomerates to be a threat to media freedom and pluralism, especially with digitisation occurring in parallel; stresses the importance of an open and enabling underlying media infrastructure, as also of the existence of independent regulators;

9.  Recognises the potential of private foundations and NGOs supporting quality journalism and being drivers of innovation;

10.  Stresses that, while businesses bear new responsibilities in a globally and digitally connected world, they also face new challenges in areas that have traditionally been the preserve of public authorities; is aware that government blocking orders affecting online content and services have put pressure on editorial independence and continuity of service;

11.  Is aware that all too often media are used as and/or are involved in traditional propaganda tools and that, specifically regarding public service media, financial and political independence, as well as pluralism, are essential; emphasises that free and independent public media play a crucial role in deepening democracy, maximising the involvement of civil society in public debates and affairs, and in empowering citizens on the path to democracy;

12.  Encourages the development of ethical codes for journalists as well as for those involved in the management of media outlets, in order to ensure the full independence of journalists and media bodies; recognises the importance of enforcing such codes through the establishment of independent regulatory bodies;

Digitisation

13.  Recognises the potential impact of today’s ever more digitised media and their empowering effects on individuals by increasing levels of information and critical thinking, and is aware of the fact that these developments create anxiety, for authoritarian regimes in particular;

14.  Acknowledges the major role played by digital and online media platforms in the uprisings against dictatorial regimes in recent years;

15.  Stresses that access to information, both online and offline, is necessary for the evolution of opinion and expression, as well as for the expression and communication of content via media platforms, since these constitute essential checks on power;

16.  Recognises that the digitisation of media and information has magnified their reach and impact but has also blurred the fine line between information and opinion; notes the significant increase in user-generated content and citizen journalism;

17.  Considers that the digitisation of the press and media is adding new layers to the media landscape, raising questions regarding access, quality, the objectivity of information and its protection;

18.  Stresses that digitisation makes it easier for people to access information and scrutinise officials, and to ensure that data and documentation are shared and spread and that cases of injustice or corruption are brought to light;

19.  Stresses that to unlock the full potential of IT infrastructures, global interoperability and appropriate regulation is required and that, these ICT elements should be incorporated in both the existing and evolving media landscape, in conjunction with the basic conditions of independence, plurality and diversity;

20.  Deplores all attempts to create various forms of ‘closed internet’, since they represent serious breaches of the right to information; urges all authorities to refrain from such attempts;

21.  Is concerned over mass surveillance, mass censoring, and blocking and filtering tendencies affecting not only the media and the work of journalists and bloggers but also hindering the work of civil society in bringing about significant political, economic and social change; condemns all arrests and attempted arrests of bloggers, viewing such actions as an attack on freedom of speech and opinion;

22.  Deplores the fact that numerous technologies and services deployed in third countries to violate human rights through censorship of information, mass surveillance, monitoring, and tracing and tracking of citizens and their activities on (mobile) telephone networks and the internet originate in the EU; urges the Commission to take all necessary steps to stop this ‘digital arms trade’;

23.  Stresses the need for greater understanding of the role of intermediaries and their responsibilities; considers that market regulators can help preserve competition, but that it is also necessary to explore new ways of engaging private actors in order to preserve the public value of information; recognises that self-regulation can entail specific risks where (democratic) oversight is lacking;

24.  Stresses the fact that digital and (computer) data-driven platforms or services such as search engines are privately owned and require transparency so as to preserve the public value of information and prevent restrictions on access to information and freedom of expression;

25.  Stresses the need for whistleblower and source protection, and for the EU to act to that end globally;

26.  Strongly condemns all attempts to use the internet or other online media platforms to promote or foster terrorist activities; urges the authorities to take a firm stance in this respect;

EU policies and external actions

27.  Stresses that in order for the EU to be considered a community of values, the promotion and protection of global press and media freedom are essential; stresses that the EU should demonstrate maximum political leadership in order to ensure the protection of journalists globally;

28.  Believes that the EU should lead the way in ensuring that the media remain independent, pluralistic and diverse, and in defending the situation, freedom and security of journalists and bloggers; stresses that, to this end, the EU should not interfere with content but should, rather, support an enabling environment and the lifting of restrictions on freedom of expression globally;

29.  Notes with concern that in recent years some media, notably in the EU, have come under scrutiny themselves for unethical and allegedly illegal behaviour; considers that the EU can only lead by example if it addresses these issues within its own borders;

30.  Encourages the Commission to continue to closely monitor the independence of the press and media in the Member States;

31.  Considers that, while the EU addresses press and media freedom through several policies and programmes, it lacks a specific overall focus on the issue, as well as lacking a coherent driving vision and benchmarks;

32.  Considers that the lack of a comprehensive strategy leads to fragmentation and risks forgoing the important policy principles of transparency and accountability;

Strategy

33.  Urges the Commission, especially DG DEVCO, and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to improve their cooperation and coordination of programming, particularly by synergising political and diplomatic work and through the joint implementation, including via monitoring and assessment, of funding and projects; calls on the Commission to improve its analysis and evaluation of past, existing and future programming, and to make the results public;

34.  Calls for a shift from ad hoc funding of projects to a more sustainable approach, also involving private donors and interlocutors; recognises the need for a tailored approach to programming, both at national and regional level;

35.  Urges the EU to play a more significant role notably in the candidate countries, as well as in relation to its immediate southern and eastern neighbourhood and in the context of trade and association agreement negotiations; calls on the EU to adopt a strategy to ensure that it closely monitors and reacts to changes in legislation which restrict pluralism and freedom of the press in third countries;

36.  Stresses that existing external financial instruments, such as the EIDHR, geographical instruments and others, need to be used flexibly in order to help strengthen civil society; stresses that local ownership and capacity-building are essential to ensure sustainable development and progress;

37.  Stresses that the EU should support the education and training of policymakers, regulators and media alike in third countries, with the goal of fostering press and media freedom and appropriate and technology-neutral forms of market regulation, especially recalling that in periods of transition freedoms are often restricted in the name of stability and security;

38.  Stresses that the issues of media development and enabling freedom of expression should form an important part of the EU’s dialogue at country-specific level; emphasises that clear benchmarks and conditionalities should be respected in the EU’s trade, partnership, cooperation, and association agreements with third countries and aid programmes, in compliance with Article 21 TEU; urges the EEAS and the Commission to respect and implement Parliament’s reports and recommendations on the negotiations for such agreements; recalls that coherence, consistency, coordination and transparency between Parliament, the EEAS and the Commission over the implementation and monitoring of these fundamental human rights are crucial for the EU’s credibility and effectiveness in its relations and interactions with third countries;

39.  Calls on the Commission to make the fight against impunity one of its priorities in its programmes concerning freedom of expression and the media, also by offering assistance in the investigation of crimes against journalists, by establishing legal defence funds and providing expertise;

40.  Considers that EU funding should not be limited to specialised international organisations (intermediaries) but should also include local organisations;

41.  Calls on the Commission to reconsider the confidentiality clauses in its human rights funding in the context of the press and media, since this leaves room for the discrediting of journalists, media outlets or NGOs, thus also damaging the credibility of EU human rights activities which are in themselves open and transparent;

42.  Emphasises that press and media programmes should also focus on improving (state and legal) structures and on supporting local media companies and businesses, in order to improve their transparency, independence, ability of being sustainable, professionalism and openness; stresses that EU media policies should also seek to maximise pluralism and diversity by supporting independent media and start-ups;

43.  Recalls that freedom of expression and media pluralism, including on the internet, are core European values; stresses the fundamental importance of press and media freedom in the EU’s enlargement policy and of digital freedoms in this context, considering these freedoms as human rights and therefore as part of the Copenhagen political criteria;

44.  Considers that the EU should include press and media support components in its electoral assistance, for instance by fostering cooperation between electoral management bodies in third countries and the press, so as to improve the transparency and legitimacy of election processes and results;

45.  Considers that in transition countries the EU should focus on press and media freedom in the context of the process of reconciliation and reconstruction;

46.  Applauds and welcomes the important work of a number of international (journalists’) organisations dealing with press and media freedom, and stresses that these organisations should have the EU’s full support, considering the essential nature of their liaison work;

47.  Calls on the EEAS to make optimal use of the EU’s engagement in multilateral forums which focus on press, media and digital freedoms, such as the Council of Europe and the OSCE, and also in the context of the UN;

48.  Calls on the Commission, the Council and the EEAS to adopt a Press and Media Freedom Strategy in the framework of EU foreign policy, as soon as possible, and to incorporate the recommendations of the present report in the forthcoming Guidelines on Freedom of Expression (online and offline);

49.  Asks for the present report be read and taken up in close conjunction with its resolution ‘A Digital Freedom Strategy in EU Foreign Policy’;

50.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, the European External Action Service, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

(1)

  http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/E/HRC/resolutions/A_HRC_RES_7_36.pdf.

(2)

  In particular, those of 16 May 2011 (A/HRC/17/27), 10 August 2011 (A/66/290), 4 June 2012 (A/HRC/20/17) and 7 September 2012 (A/67/357), available at:

  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomOpinion/Pages/Annual.aspx.

(3)

  http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G12/147/10/PDF/G1214710.pdf?OpenElement.

(4)

  A/HRC/17/31, available at: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Business/A-HRC-17-31_AEV.pdf.

(5)

  http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/681/60/PDF/N0668160.pdf?OpenElement.

(6)

  http://www.un-documents.net/gc-p1.htm.

(7)

  http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/official_documents/un_plan_action_safety_en.pdf.

(8)

  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0050.

(9)

  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0049.

(10)

  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0503.

(11)

  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0451.

(12)

  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0470.

(13)

  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0250.

(14)

  http://eeas.europa.eu/top_stories/2012/20120503_world_press_freedom_day_en.htm.

  http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_PRES-13-181_en.htm.

(15)

  http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/neelie-kroes/ict-human-rights-guidance.

(16)

  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0334.

(17)

  OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2010, p. 9.

(18)

  OJ L386, 29.12.2006, p 1.

(19)

  OJ C 290 E, 29.11.2006, p 107.


ANNEXES

Country rankings in press and media freedom by independent organizations with the relevant expertise

Reporters without borders

2013 World Press Freedom Index(1)

Rank

Country

Note

Differential

1

Finland

6,38

0 (1)

2

Netherlands

6,48

+1 (3)

3

Norway

6,52

-2 (1)

4

Luxembourg

6,68

+2 (6)

5

Andorra

6,82

-

6

Denmark

7,08

+4 (10)

7

Liechtenstein

7,35

-

8

New Zealand

8,38

+5 (13)

9

Iceland

8,49

-3 (6)

10

Sweden

9,23

+2 (12)

11

Estonia

9,26

-8 (3)

12

Austria

9,40

-7 (5)

13

Jamaica

9,88

+3 (16)

14

Switzerland

9,94

-6 (8)

15

Ireland

10,06

0 (15)

16

Czech Republic

10,17

-2 (14)

17

Germany

10,24

-1 (16)

18

Costa Rica

12,08

+1 (19)

19

Namibia

12,50

+1 (20)

20

Canada

12,69

-10 (10)

21

Belgium

12,94

-1 (20)

22

Poland

13,11

+2 (24)

23

Slovakia

13,25

+2 (25)

24

Cyprus

13,83

-8 (16)

25

Cape Verde

14,33

-16 (9)

26

Australia

15,24

+4 (30)

27

Uruguay

15,92

+5 (32)

28

Portugal

16,75

+5 (33)

29

United Kingdom

16,89

-1 (28)

30

Ghana

17,27

+11 (41)

31

Suriname

18,19

-9 (22)

32

United States

18,22

+15 (47)

33

Lithuania

18,24

-3 (30)

34

OECS

19,72

-9 (25)

35

Slovenia

20,49

+1 (36)

36

Spain

20,50

+3 (39)

37

France

21,60

+1 (38)

38

El Salvador

22,86

-1 (37)

39

Latvia

22,89

+11 (50)

40

Botswana

22,91

+2 (42)

41

Papua New Guinea

22,97

-6 (35)

42

Romania

23,05

+5 (47)

43

Niger

23,08

-14 (29)

44

Trinidad and Tobago

23,12

+6 (50)

45

Malta

23,30

+13 (58)

46

Burkina Faso

23,70

+22 (68)

47

Taiwan

23,82

-2 (45)

48

Samoa

23,84

+6 (54)

49

Haiti

24,09

+3 (52)

50

South Korea

24,48

-6 (44)

51

Comoros

24,52

-6 (45)

52

South Africa

24,56

-10 (42)

53

Japan

25,17

-31 (22)

54

Argentina

25,67

-7 (47)

55

Moldova

26,01

-2 (53)

56

Hungary

26,09

-16 (40)

57

Italy

26,11

+4 (61)

58

Hong Kong

26,16

-4 (54)

59

Senegal

26,19

+16 (75)

60

Chile

26,24

+20 (80)

61

Sierra Leone

26,35

+2 (63)

62

Mauritius

26,47

-8 (54)

63

Serbia

26,59

+17 (80)

64

Croatia

26,61

+4 (68)

65

Central African Republic

26,61

-3 (62)

66

Tonga

26,70

-3 (63)

67

Mauritania

26,76

0 (67)

68

Bosnia and Herzegovina

26,86

-10 (58)

69

Guyana

27,08

-11 (58)

70

Tanzania

27,34

-36 (34)

71

Kenya

27,80

+13 (84)

72

Zambia

27,93

+14 (86)

73

Mozambique

28,01

-7 (66)

74

Armenia

28,04

+3 (77)

75

Malawi

28,18

+71 (146)

76

Republic of the Congo

28,20

+14 (90)

77

Kuwait

28,28

+1 (78)

78

Nicaragua

28,31

-6 (72)

79

Benin

28,33

+12 (91)

80

Dominican Republic

28,34

+15 (95)

81

Lesotho

28,36

-18 (63)

82

Bhutan

28,42

-12 (70)

83

Togo

28,45

-4 (79)

84

Greece

28,46

-14 (70)

85

Kosovo

28,47

+1 (86)

86

Guinea

28,49

0 (86)

87

Bulgaria

28,58

-7 (80)

88

Madagascar

28,62

-4 (84)

89

Gabon

28,69

+12 (101)

90

East Timor

28,72

-4 (86)

91

Paraguay

28,78

-11 (80)

92

Guinea-Bissau

28,94

-17 (75)

93

Seychelles

29,19

-20 (73)

94

Northern Cyprus

29,34

+8 (102)

95

Guatemala

29,39

+2 (97)

96

Ivory Coast

29,77

+63 (159)

97

Liberia

29,89

+13 (110)

98

Mongolia

29,93

+2 (100)

99

Mali

30,03

-74 (25)

100

Georgia

30,09

+4 (104)

101

Lebanon

30,15

-8 (93)

102

Albania

30,88

-6 (96)

103

Maldives

31,10

-30 (73)

104

Uganda

31,69

+35 (139)

105

Peru

31,87

+10 (115)

106

Kyrgyzstan

32,20

+2 (108)

107

Fiji

32,69

+10 (117)

108

Brazil

32,75

-9 (99)

109

Bolivia

32,80

-1 (108)

110

Qatar

32,86

+4 (114)

111

Panama

32,95

+2 (113)

112

Israel

32,97

-20 (92)

113

Montenegro

32,97

-6 (107)

114

United Arab Emirates

33,49

-2 (112)

115

Nigeria

34,11

+11 (126)

116

Republic of Macedonia

34,27

-22 (94)

117

Venezuela

34,44

0 (117)

118

Nepal

34,61

-12 (106)

119

Ecuador

34,69

-15 (104)

120

Cameroon

34,78

-23 (97)

121

Chad

34,87

-18 (103)

122

Brunei

35,45

+3 (125)

123

Tajikistan

35,71

-1 (122)

124

South Sudan

36,20

-13 (111)

125

Algeria

36,54

-3 (122)

126

Ukraine

36,79

-10 (116)

127

Honduras

36,92

+8 (135)

128

Afghanistan

37,36

+22 (150)

129

Colombia

37,48

+14 (143)

130

Angola

37,80

+2 (132)

131

Libya

37,86

+23 (154)

132

Burundi

38,02

-2 (130)

133

Zimbabwe

38,12

-16 (117)

134

Jordan

38,47

-6 (128)

135

Thailand

38,60

+2 (137)

136

Morocco

39,04

+2 (138)

137

Ethiopia

39,57

-10 (127)

138

Tunisia

39,93

-4 (134)

139

Indonesia

41,05

+7 (146)

140

India

41,22

-9 (131)

141

Oman

41,51

-24 (117)

142

DR Congo

41,66

+3 (145)

143

Cambodia

41,81

-26 (117)

144

Bangladesh

42,01

-15 (129)

145

Malaysia

42,73

-23 (122)

146

Palestine

43,09

+7 (153)

147

Philippines

43,11

-7 (140)

148

Russia

43,42

-6 (142)

149

Singapore

43,43

-14 (135)

150

Iraq

44,67

+2 (152)

151

Burma

44,71

+18 (169)

152

Gambia

45,09

-11 (141)

153

Mexico

45,30

-4 (149)

154

Turkey

46,56

-6 (148)

155

Swaziland

46,76

-11 (144)

156

Azerbaijan

47,73

+6 (162)

157

Belarus

48,35

+11 (168)

158

Egypt

48,66

+8 (166)

159

Pakistan

51,31

-8 (151)

160

Kazakhstan

55,08

-6 (154)

161

Rwanda

55,46

-5 (156)

162

Sri Lanka

56,59

+1 (163)

163

Saudi Arabia

56,88

-5 (158)

164

Uzbekistan

60,39

-7 (157)

165

Bahrain

62,75

+8 (173)

166

Equatorial Guinea

67,20

-5 (161)

167

Djibouti

67,40

-8 (159)

168

Laos

67,99

-3 (165)

169

Yemen

69,22

+2 (171)

170

Sudan

70,06

0 (170)

171

Cuba

71,64

-4 (167)

172

Vietnam

71,78

0 (172)

173

China

73,07

+1 (174)

174

Iran

73,40

+1 (175)

175

Somalia

73,59

-11 (164)

176

Syria

78,53

0 (176)

177

Turkmenistan

79,14

0 (177)

178

North Korea

83,90

0 (178)

179

Eritrea

84,83

0 (179)

Committee to Protect Journalists

2012 Impunity Index, Statistical Table(2)

Unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants for 2002-2011. Only nations with five or more unsolved cases are included. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained.

 

 

Rank

 

 

Nation

 

Unsolved Cases

Population

(in millions)

 

Calculation

 

 

Rating

 

1

 

Iraq

 

93

 

32

 

93/32

 

2.906

 

2

 

Somalia

 

11

 

9.3

 

11/9.3

 

1.183

 

3

 

Philippines

 

55

 

93.3

 

55/93.3

 

0.589

 

4

 

Sri Lanka

 

9

 

20.9

 

9/20.9

 

0.431

 

5

 

Colombia

 

8

 

46.3

 

8/46.3

 

0.173

 

6

 

Nepal

 

5

 

30

 

5/30

 

0.167

 

7

 

Afghanistan

 

5

 

34.4

 

5/34.4

 

0.145

 

8

 

Mexico

 

15

 

113.4

 

15/113.4

 

0.132

 

9

 

Russia

 

16

 

141.8

 

16/141.8

 

0.113

 

10

 

Pakistan

 

19

 

173.6

 

19/173.6

 

0.109

 

11

 

Brazil

 

5

 

194.9

 

5/194.9

 

0.026

 

12

 

India

 

6

 

1,170.9

 

6/1170.9

 

0.005

Population data source: 2010 World Development Indicators, World Bank

FREEDOM HOUSE

FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE(3)

Independent Countries

Country

Freedom Status

PR

CL

Trend Arrow

Afghanistan

Not Free

6

6

 

Albania*

Partly Free

3

3

 

Algeria

Not Free

6

5

 

Andorra*

Free

1

1

 

Angola

Not Free

6

5

 

Antigua and Barbuda*

Free

2 ▲

2

 

Argentina*

Free

2

2

 

Armenia

Partly Free

5 ▲

4

 

Australia*

Free

1

1

 

Austria*

Free

1

1

 

Azerbaijan

Not Free

6

5

 

Bahamas*

Free

1

1

 

Bahrain

Not Free

6

6

 

Bangladesh*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Barbados*

Free

1

1

 

Belarus

Not Free

7

6

 

Belgium*

Free

1

1

 

Belize*

Free

1

2

 

Benin*

Free

2

2

 

Bhutan*

Partly Free

4

5

Bolivia*

Partly Free

3

3

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina*

Partly Free

3 ▲

3

 

Botswana*

Free

3

2

 

Brazil*

Free

2

2

 

Brunei

Not Free

6

5

 

Bulgaria*

Free

2

2

 

Burkina Faso

Partly Free

5

3

 

Burma

Not Free

6 ▲

5 ▲

 

Burundi

Partly Free

5

5

 

Cambodia

Not Free

6

5

 

Cameroon

Not Free

6

6

 

Canada*

Free

1

1

 

Cape Verde*

Free

1

1

 

Central African Republic

Partly Free

5

5

Chad

Not Free

7

6

 

Chile*

Free

1

1

 

China

Not Free

7

6

 

Colombia*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Comoros*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Congo (Brazzaville)

Not Free

6

5

 

Congo (Kinshasa)

Not Free

6

6

 

Costa Rica*

Free

1

1

 

Côte d’Ivoire

Partly Free ▲

5 ▲

5 ▲

 

Croatia*

Free

1

2

 

Cuba

Not Free

7

6

 

Cyprus*

Free

1

1

 

Czech Republic*

Free

1

1

 

Denmark*

Free

1

1

 

Djibouti

Not Free

6

5

 

Dominica*

Free

1

1

 

Dominican Republic*

Free

2

2

 

East Timor*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Ecuador*

Partly Free

3

3

Egypt

Partly Free ▲

5 ▲

5

 

El Salvador*

Free

2

3

 

Equatorial Guinea

Not Free

7

7

 

Eritrea

Not Free

7

7

 

Estonia*

Free

1

1

 

Ethiopia

Not Free

6

6

 

Fiji

Partly Free

6

4

 

Finland*

Free

1

1

 

France*

Free

1

1

 

Gabon

Not Free

6

5

 

The Gambia

Not Free

6

6 ▼

 

Georgia*

Partly Free

3 ▲

3

 

Germany*

Free

1

1

 

Ghana*

Free

1

2

 

Greece*

Free

2

2

Grenada*

Free

1

2

 

Guatemala*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Guinea

Partly Free

5

5

Guinea-Bissau

Not Free ▼

6 ▼

5 ▼

 

Guyana*

Free

2

3

 

Haiti

Partly Free

4

5

 

Honduras

Partly Free

4

4

 

Hungary*

Free

1

2

 

Iceland*

Free

1

1

 

India*

Free

2

3

 

Indonesia*

Free

2

3

 

Iran

Not Free

6

6

 

Iraq

Not Free

6 ▼

6

 

Ireland*

Free

1

1

 

Israel*

Free

1

2

 

Italy*

Free

2 ▼

1

 

Jamaica*

Free

2

3

 

Japan*

Free

1

2

 

Jordan

Not Free

6

5

Kazakhstan

Not Free

6

5

Kenya

Partly Free

4

4 ▼

 

Kiribati*

Free

1

1

 

Kosovo

Partly Free

5

4

 

Kuwait

Partly Free

5 ▼

5

 

Kyrgyzstan

Partly Free

5

5

 

Laos

Not Free

7

6

 

Latvia*

Free

2

2

 

Lebanon

Partly Free

5

4

Lesotho*

Free ▲

2 ▲

3

 

Liberia*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Libya*

Partly Free ▲

4 ▲

5 ▲

 

Liechtenstein*

Free

1

1

 

Lithuania*

Free

1

1

 

Luxembourg*

Free

1

1

 

Macedonia*

Partly Free

3

3

 

Madagascar

Partly Free

6

4

Malawi*

Partly Free

3

4

Malaysia

Partly Free

4

4

 

Maldives

Partly Free

5 ▼

4

 

Mali

Not Free ▼

7 ▼

5 ▼

 

Malta*

Free

1

1

 

Marshall Islands*

Free

1

1

 

Mauritania

Not Free

6

5

 

Mauritius*

Free

1

2

 

Mexico*

Partly Free

3

3

 

Micronesia*

Free

1

1

 

Moldova*

Partly Free

3

3

 

Monaco*

Free

2

1

 

Mongolia*

Free

1 ▲

2

 

Montenegro*

Free

3

2

 

Morocco

Partly Free

5

4

 

Mozambique

Partly Free

4

3

 

Namibia*

Free

2

2

 

Nauru*

Free

1

1

 

Nepal

Partly Free

4

4

 

Netherlands*

Free

1

1

 

New Zealand*

Free

1

1

 

Nicaragua

Partly Free

5

4

 

Niger*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Nigeria

Partly Free

4

4

North Korea

Not Free

7

7

 

Norway*

Free

1

1

 

Oman

Not Free

6

5

Pakistan

Partly Free

4

5

 

Palau*

Free

1

1

 

Panama*

Free

1

2

 

Papua New Guinea*

Partly Free

4

3

 

Paraguay*

Partly Free

3

3

Peru*

Free

2

3

 

Philippines*

Partly Free

3

3

 

Poland*

Free

1

1

 

Portugal*

Free

1

1

 

Qatar

Not Free

6

5

 

Romania*

Free

2

2

 

Russia

Not Free

6

5

Rwanda

Not Free

6

6 ▼

 

Saint Kitts and Nevis*

Free

1

1

 

Saint Lucia*

Free

1

1

 

Saint Vincent and Grenadines*

Free

1

1

 

Samoa*

Free

2

2

 

San Marino*

Free

1

1

 

São Tomé and Príncipe*

Free

2

2

 

Saudi Arabia

Not Free

7

7

 

Senegal*

Free ▲

2 ▲

3

 

Serbia*

Free

2

2

 

Seychelles*

Partly Free

3

3

 

Sierra Leone*

Free ▲

2 ▲

3

 

Singapore

Partly Free

4

4

 

Slovakia*

Free

1

1

 

Slovenia*

Free

1

1

 

Solomon Islands

Partly Free

4

3

 

Somalia

Not Free

7

7

 

South Africa*

Free

2

2

 

South Korea*

Free

1

2

 

South Sudan

Not Free

6

5

 

Spain*

Free

1

1

 

Sri Lanka

Partly Free

5

4

Sudan

Not Free

7

7

 

Suriname*

Free

2

2

Swaziland

Not Free

7

5

 

Sweden*

Free

1

1

 

Switzerland*

Free

1

1

 

Syria

Not Free

7

7

Taiwan*

Free

1

2

 

Tajikistan

Not Free

6

6 ▼

 

Tanzania*

Partly Free

3

3

 

Thailand*

Partly Free

4

4

 

Togo

Partly Free

5

4

 

Tonga*

Free ▲

3

2 ▲

 

Trinidad and Tobago*

Free

2

2

 

Tunisia*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Turkey*

Partly Free

3

4 ▼

 

Turkmenistan

Not Free

7

7

 

Tuvalu*

Free

1

1

 

Uganda

Partly Free

5

4

Ukraine*

Partly Free

4

3

United Arab Emirates

Not Free

6

6

United Kingdom*

Free

1

1

 

United States*

Free

1

1

 

Uruguay*

Free

1

1

 

Uzbekistan

Not Free

7

7

 

Vanuatu*

Free

2

2

 

Venezuela

Partly Free

5

5

 

Vietnam

Not Free

7

5

 

Yemen

Not Free

6

6

 

Zambia*

Partly Free

3

4

 

Zimbabwe

Not Free

6

6

 

* indicates a country’s status as an electoral democracy.

Related Territories

 

Territory

 

 

Freedom Status

 

 

PR

 

 

CL

 

 

Trend Arrow

 

Hong Kong

Partly Free

5

2

 

Puerto Rico

Free

1

2

 

Disputed Territories

 

Territory

 

 

Freedom Status

 

 

PR

 

 

CL

 

 

Trend Arrow

 

Abkhazia

Partly Free

4 ▲

5

 

Gaza Strip

Not Free

6

6

 

Indian Kashmir

Partly Free

4

4

Nagorno-Karabakh

Partly Free ▲

5 ▲

5

 

Northern Cyprus

Free

2

2

 

Pakistani Kashmir

Not Free

6

5

 

Somaliland

Partly Free

4

5

 

South Ossetia

Not Free

7

6

 

Tibet

Not Free

7

7

 

Transnistria

Not Free

6

6

 

West Bank

Not Free

6

5

 

Western Sahara

Not Free

7

7

 

PR and CL stand for political rights and civil liberties, respectively; 1 represents the most free and 7 the least free rating.

▲ ▼ up or down indicates an improvement or decline in ratings or status since the last survey.

  up or down indicates a trend of positive or negative changes that took place but were not sufficient to result in a change in political rights or civil liberties ratings.

* indicates a country’s status as an electoral democracy.

NOTE: The ratings reflect global events from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012.

Freedom House

Freedom on the Net(4)

Freedom on the Net is Freedom House’s newest index, assessing the degree of internet and digital media freedom around the world. In the short few years since its creation, Freedom on the Net has become one of the leading references for policymakers, journalists, and activists on this emerging and increasingly important dimension of human rights.

2012 Edition Release

On September 24, 2012, Freedom House released its latest Freedom on the Net report. The new edition includes detailed country reports and a one-of-a-kind numerical index covering 47 countries in six geographical regions. In addition, an analytical overview essay and accompanying graphics will highlight key findings and emerging threats to global digital media freedom.

About the Survey

Over the past decade, the influence of the internet as a means to spread information and challenge existing media controls has rapidly expanded. As events in the Middle East in 2011 demonstrated, the internet has also emerged as a crucial medium through which citizens can mobilize and advocate for political, social, and economic reform. Fearing the power of the new technologies, authoritarian states have devised subtle and not-so-subtle ways to filter, monitor, and otherwise obstruct or manipulate the openness of the internet.

Even a number of democratic states have considered or implemented various restrictions in response to the potential legal, economic, and security challenges raised by new media.

In order to illuminate these emerging threats and identify areas of opportunity for internet freedom, Freedom House has developed the first comprehensive, comparative, and numerically based set of indicators for monitoring and analyzing internet freedom. In consultation with leading experts, Freedom House has devised a unique, systematic, and innovative way of assessing internet freedom across the full spectrum of country types. This methodology was first tested on 15 countries in Freedom House’s pilot edition of Freedom on the Net, published in 2009. Since then, a second edition was published in 2011 and a third one is to be released in September 2012.

Each country assessment includes a detailed narrative report and numerical score, based on Freedom House’s first-of-its-kind methodology.

This methodology applies a three-pillared approach to capture the level of internet and ICT freedom:

§Obstacles to Access—including infrastructural and economic barriers to access, legal and ownership control over internet service providers (ISPs), and independence of regulatory bodies;

§Limits on Content—including legal regulations on content, technical filtering and blocking of websites, self-censorship, the vibrancy/diversity of online news media, and the use of ICTs for civic mobilization;

§Violations of User Rights—including surveillance, privacy, and repercussions for online activity, such as imprisonment, extralegal harassment, or cyber attacks.

(1)

  Available at: http://en.rsf.org/press-freedom-index-2013,1054.html.

(2)

  Available at: http://www.cpj.org/reports/2012/04/impunity-index-2012.php.

(3)

  Available at: http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2013.

(4)

  Available at: http://www.freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-net.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

7.5.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

54

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Pino Arlacchi, Bastiaan Belder, Elmar Brok, Jerzy Buzek, Susy De Martini, Mark Demesmaeker, Marietta Giannakou, Andrzej Grzyb, Richard Howitt, Anna Ibrisagic, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Jelko Kacin, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Evgeni Kirilov, Eduard Kukan, Krzysztof Lisek, Sabine Lösing, Willy Meyer, Francisco José Millán Mon, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Kristiina Ojuland, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Alojz Peterle, Mirosław Piotrowski, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Cristian Dan Preda, Fiorello Provera, Libor Rouček, Tokia Saïfi, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, György Schöpflin, Marek Siwiec, Sophocles Sophocleous, Charles Tannock, Eleni Theocharous, Inese Vaidere, Geoffrey Van Orden, Boris Zala

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Charalampos Angourakis, Elena Băsescu, Emine Bozkurt, Knut Fleckenstein, Elisabeth Jeggle, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Marietje Schaake, Helmut Scholz, Indrek Tarand, Traian Ungureanu, Ivo Vajgl

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

José Manuel Fernandes, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Last updated: 4 June 2013Legal notice