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Thu 21 Oct 2010 12:50 PM

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Most Gulf countries decline in press freedom rankings

Kuwait, which came out top among Arab states last year, falls 27 places to draw level with the UAE

Most Gulf countries decline in press freedom rankings
Kuwait is regarded as having the freest press in the Gulf region. (ITP Images)

Many Arab states in the Gulf region have dropped in this
year’s world press freedom rankings, Reporters Without Borders said.

Kuwait,
which came top out of all Arab nations in the 2009 list, fell 27 places to number
87 out of 178, drawing level with the UAE, according to information on the group’s
website.

Kuwait
is regarded as having the freest press in the Gulf region, however its treatment
of the writer Mohamed Abdel Qader al-Jassem, who has been jailed twice
following accusations against official figures, is one of the reasons for its
decline.

Qatar
also dropped 27 places on the list to 121, while Bahrain slipped from 119
place to 144 due to the "growing number of imprisonments and
trials, notably against bloggers and netizens," Reports Without Borders
said in a statement. Oman
fell 17 places to 124 and the UAE slipped just one place.

However, Saudi
Arabia bucked the regional trend, rising six
spots to 157 place. Despite the increase the country languishes last
among GCC countries.

Reporters Without Borders releases its press freedoms list
annually, ranking countries against 43 different criteria including persecution
against journalists, censorship and the independence of media.

John 8 years ago

I have to say this seems accurate - there seems to be more censorship in the UAE press than there was a few years ago. It's really quite sad.