The international human rights organization “Reporters Without Borders” has published an annual World Press Freedom Index.
In the 2019 ranking Turkmenistan is ahead of North Korea ranking 180th at the bottom of the rating.
“This disgraceful performance is the outcome of several years of increasingly ruthless repression in which the authorities have relentlessly persecuted journalists working clandestinely as the correspondents of Turkmen exiled media”, the report runs.
In 2018 Turkmenistan ranked 178th.
The neighbours in Central Asia region ranks as follows:
Uzbekistan, where the last journalists imprisoned under dictatorship of Islam Karimov, had been released, improved the ranking from 165 to 160;
Kazakhstan dropped one position down ranking 158th. According to researchers, the uncertainty, surrounding succession of power, made the regime even more paranoiac and asserted the intention to keep the tight grip;
Kyrgyzstan has significantly improved its positions leaping from the 98th to the 83rd place after the former and the incumbent heads of the state withdrew their legal lawsuits against critical journalists;
Tajikistan considerably exacerbated its performance by dropping down from the 149th to the 161st place. Most of its independent media have been forced to close or to relocate abroad.
Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the World Press Freedom Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework, transparency and quality of infrastructure, which allows news outlets to operate.