CAIRO: Egypt ranks 158th out of 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom index, said Reporters Without Borders (RWB) organization Thursday.
“Led by Field Marshal el-Sisi, the Egyptian authorities cite the need to combat terrorism as their grounds for systematically targeting media affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood or regarded as sympathetic to it,” the RWB report said.
It added that although Egypt jumped one place up from the 2014 index, more than 30 journalists were arbitrarily arrested in 2014 in charge of participating in protests backing “terrorist organization.”
In Dec. 2013, Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist group.”
According to the index, Finland was ranked number 1 to be followed by Norway and then Denmark; meanwhile, Netherlands and Sweden were listed in the fourth and fifth places respectively.
The journalistic professionalism will never be achieved in absences of journalists who can do their work freely away from detentions and violations of the state’s bodies, said Syndicate of Journalists member and coordinator of the Egyptian Initiative for Defense of Journalists’ Freedom Hazem al-Malah in a workshop Tuesday.
He called for amending the media legislatures to protect the journalism from any particular group.
In Dec. 2014, the organization issued the annual roundup on the abuse against the journalist in the world in which Egypt ranked fourth among the countries to crackdown on their journalists in 2014.
The roundup said that 46 journalists in Egypt have been arrested in 2014 “on the pretext of being being Muslim brotherhood sympathizers, endangering national unity or inciting violence or riots. The political situation does not justify President Sisi’s repressive policies and the propaganda regime he has established.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists said in Dec. 2014 that Egypt is one of the top ten “worst jailers of journalists,” ranking in 6th place.