India drops to 140th rank in press freedom lowest since 2002
Observing that there has been general decline in freedom of information in South Asia, the report said the Indian subcontinent was the Asian region that saw the sharpest deterioration in the climate for those involved in news and information in 2012.
"In the Maldives, which crashed to 103rd place (-30), the events that led to the resignation of President Mohammed Nasheed in February led to violence and threats against journalists in state television and private media outlets regarded as pro-Nasheed by the coup leaders," it said.
In India, the "world's biggest democracy", the authorities insist on censoring the Web and imposing more and more taboos, while violence against journalists goes
unpunished and the regions of Kashmir and Chhattisgarh become increasingly isolated," it said.
"Bangladesh is not far behind. Its journalists are frequently targets of police violence. When they are not acting as aggressors, the security forces stand by passively while enemies of the media enjoy impunity and are rarely brought to justice.
"The ability of journalists to work freely in Pakistan (159th, -8) and Nepal (118th, -12) continued to worsen in the absence of any government policy to protect media workers. Despite having a diverse and lively media, Pakistan remains one of the world's most dangerous countries for reporters," the report said.
Coinciding with the release of its 2013 Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders published an annual global "indicator"