Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has released the World Press Freedom Index for 2020. According to it, Uzbekistan is ranked 156th among 180 countries.
Analysts say the situation with press freedom in Uzbekistan is “complicated”. At the same time, the country has improved by 4 points compared to 2019 and by 13 points compared to 2017.
RSF acknowledged that in Uzbekistan, imprisoned journalists have been released, dozens of blocked websites have been unblocked, media registration has been simplified, live broadcasts of political content has been introduced, and some journalists have raised sensitive issues such as corruption and forced labor.
“Nevertheless, criticism of top-level government officials has not yet been formed. Authorities are in no hurry to reform some of the laws that hinder the media. Observations, external and internal censorship still exist, and significant control over the media remains. Bloggers are being threatened, they are being arrested.
Uzbekistan has reopened its doors to foreign journalists who have been barred from entering the country for political reasons, but it has not been easy for some foreign journalists and media outlets to obtain accreditation.
Without political pluralism and justice, full restoration of press freedom will be difficult. Uzbekistan still has to have a long way to go,” the international organization noted.
For information, in 2013-2019, Uzbekistan was ranked 160-169th in the RSF press index.
In 2020, the country overtook Kazakhstan for the first time:
The index has been led by Norway for several years. It is followed by Finland, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.
The United States has occupied the 45th place, Japan – 66th, Ukraine – 96th, Russia – 149th, Belarus – 153rd, Turkey – 154th and China – 177th.
Reporters Without Borders has expressed concern that the pandemic could jeopardize media freedom around the world.