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Nepal Gains in South Asia Press Freedom: FH

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Nepal registered progress in press freedom during the last year, says the annual report 2012 by Freedom House.

Although press freedom is decline in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, it registered progress in Nepal, suggests the annual report released by the US-based democracy monitor Freedom House.

Nepal's ranking has gone up eleven places in the world, 128 in 2010 to 117 in 2011.

Freedom House says that in Nepal, the score improved from 59 points in 2010 to 55 points in 2011 thanks in part to better access to information and a decline in censorship. The report notes that there were no journalists killed during the year, and fewer restrictions on the production and distribution of news.

The overview essay by FH observes: India suffered a two-point decline in 2011 because of a worrying attempt to extend content controls over the internet and the murder of a senior newspaper editor in Mumbai, among other problems. The score for Pakistan also declined by two points, as threats against the press from a variety of actors reached unprecedented levels. CPJ now considers Pakistan to be the deadliest country in the world for reporters. As a result of this danger, self-censorship has increased, particularly on sensitive topics like blasphemy laws and the role and reach of the security forces.

Regional rankings, from worst to better, for 2011 are as follows (those in brackets are for 2010):
161 (156) Sri Lanka - Not Free
144 (134) Pakistan - Not Free
127 (124) Bhutan - Partly Free
117 (128) Nepal - Partly Free
111 (112) Bangladesh - Partly Free
107 (102) The Maldives - Partly Free
80 (77) India - Partly Free

The 10 top ranking countries are Finland/Norway/Sweden, Belgium, Denmark/Luxembourg/Netherlands/Switzerland, Andorra, and Iceland/Liechtenstein, in that order.

> To read the full report, go here.
> For 2011 report, click here.


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