An international index for press freedom has placed Pakistan among the most dangerous countries for journalists along with the Philippines and Bangladesh, the media reported on Friday.The 2017 World Press Freedom Index, prepared by international media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), ranked Pakistan 139th out of 180 countries surveyed for the report. In 2016, Pakistan was 146th, reports Dawn news. India is 136th in the report. Although the two South Asian countries have more press freedom than many other nations, targeted killing by terrorists, religious gangs and mafia make them dangerous for journalists, the report said.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has listed 60 journalists who have been killed in Pakistan since 1994, although it did not place Pakistan among the most dangerous countries this year.Iraq tops this nine-member list, followed by Syria and Mexico. Afghanistan was placed at number seven. The RSF cites the Asia-Pacific region as the third worst violator overall, Dawn reported. “Two of its countries, China (176th) and Vietnam (175th), are the world’s biggest prisons for journalists and bloggers. It has some of the most dangerous countries for journalists: Pakistan (139th), Philippines (127th) and Bangladesh (146th).
“It also has the biggest number of ‘press freedom predators’ at the head of the world’s worst dictatorships, including China, North Korea (180th), and Laos (170th), which are news and information black holes,” the RSF added.