“Our latest world press freedom index contains welcome surprises, highlights sombre realities and confirms certain trends,” Reporters Without Borders Secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said as his organisation issued its ninth annual index today. The BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China – may all be at a roughly similar stage of economic development but the 2010 index highlights major differences in the press freedom situation in these countries. Thanks to favourable legislative changes, Brazil (58th) has risen 12 places in the past year, while India has fallen 17 places to 122nd. Russia, which had a particularly deadly preceding year, is still poorly placed at 140th. Despite an astonishingly vibrant and active blogosphere, China still censors and jails dissidents and continues to languish in 171st place.
These four countries now shoulder the responsibilities of the emerging powers and must fulfil their obligations as regards fundamental rights.
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Reporters Without Borders promotes and defends the freedom to be informed and to inform others throughout the world. Based in Paris, it has nine international offices (Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Madrid, Montreal, New York, Stockholm, Vienna and Washington DC) and more than 140 correspondents in all five continents.