Freedom House Releases Report #WorldPressFreedomDay

May 3rd marked ‘World Press Freedom Day’, which honors journalists and media abilities to report without political restrictions.
In preparation for this, the Freedom House organization (based in the U.S. since the 1970s) published its annual “Political Freedoms ad Civil Liberties” report.   Zeroing in on the Middle East & North Africa region, below are the top level observations of how the MENA region fared. Note:  FH includes Israel, but not Afghanistan nor Pakistan in its regional analysis, but assessed in Asia.  Here’s the report link:
  1. Saudi Arabia and Syria made the ‘Worst of the Worst’ list.  (Bahrain downgraded near the bottom of the list too.)
  2. Algeria was upgraded to “Partly Free” (barely)
  3. Tunisia and Lebanon tied with a score of ’53’ as “Partly Free” — (Second place winners? See MENA rankings below…)
  4. Turkey downgraded to “Not Free” (dramatic drop from 2013)
  5. Israel upgraded to ‘Free’ (They crossed the threshhold into “Free” by improving from a score of ’31’ in 2013 to ’30’ in 2014.)

PITAPOLICY focused on Tunisia’s political and media environment, which remained in transition in 2013.  Investigative journalism probed into judicial proceedings, civil society, and corruption.  For specifics, feel free to contact us at qayyum at pitapolicyconsulting dot com.

Check out Freedom House’s Factsheet in Arabic: Overview Fact Sheet – Arabic(1)

Country Score 2014 Rating 2014 Score 2013 Rating 2013 Change ’13-’14
Country  Rank   Score 2014   Score 2013

Israel       62nd        30 F              31 PF    1

Lebanon 112th        53 PF             53 PF -2

Tunisia    112th        53 PF             52 PF -5

Kuwait     127th      59 PF             59 PF 0

Algeria     127th       59 PF            61 NF 1

Libya        134th      62 NF           59 PF 0

Turkey      134th      62 NF           56 PF -9

*Pakistan  141st       64 NF

*Afghanistan 147th  66 NF

Morocco   147th      66 NF          66 NF 0

Qatar         152nd     68 NF          67 NF -1

Egypt         155th     68 NF           62 NF -6

Iraq            157th     69 NF            67 NF -2

Jordan        155th    68 NF          63 NF -5


Oman         161st      71 NF            71 NF 0

United Arab

Emirates      167th   76 NF            74 NF -3

Yemen          167th   76 NF             79 NF 2


Arabia            181st  83NF             84 NF +1

West Bank

and Gaza       179th  82 NF              84 NF -2

Bahrain         188th  87 NF              86 NF -1

Syria               189th   89 NF            88 NF -1

Iran                 190th   90 NF            92 NF

Can’t Forget About Egypt

Egypt has earned a “Not Free” status since Hosni Mubarak’s rule.  In that time, their “civil liberties” score improved because of more judicial protections.  However, political rights hovered towards ‘6’ out of ‘7’ points–towards the worse end of the spectrum.  Egypt’s 2014 score for overall political and civil liberties worsened  from ’62’ to ’68’.  Ironically, May 3rd also marked Egypt’s first trial day for the Al Jazeera trio of journalists imprisoned for reporting on Egypt’s political transition.  The Egyptian judge wished them a “Happy Press Freedom Day” right before refusing their bail.


Reporters Without Borders Lists Heroes of Middle East

Afghanistan- Danish Karokhel

Algeria – Ali Dilem

Bahrain- Ali Abduleman & Ahmed Humaiden

Egypt – Abeer Sady

Iran – Adnan Hassenpour, Jila Bani Yaghoub, Siamak Kaderi, & Said Matinpour

Iraq – Sardar Mohummand

Libya – Amira Al Kitabi & Hanan Al Mqawab

Morocco-Ali Lmrabet & Ali Anouzla

Pakistan – Hamid Mir, Muhummad Ziaudin

Syria – Mazen Darwish & Razan Zeitouneh

Tunisia – Najiba Hamrouni & Fahem Boukadous

Turkey- Ismail Saymaz, Hasan Kemal

Yemen – Abdul Bahry Taher

United Arab Emirates – Waleed Al Shehhi

The complete list may be found here.

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