Tunisia is the Arab world's best-performing country in terms of freedom of the press, the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) revealed yesterday.
According to the report, released on World Press Freedom Day yesterday, Lebanon ranked 102nd, Iraq (162th), Algeria (146th), Egypt (166th), and Saudi Arabia (170th) globally. Meanwhile, Syria came in at 174th out of 180 countries for the second consecutive year.
Norway topped the Index for the fourth year in a row followed by Finland, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Journalists in numerous countries have been harassed, threatened and arrested while trying to cover the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists and Amnesty International, which track such incidents.
In the Middle East, this has exacerbated government restrictions on the press which stifle dialogue and force news outlets to tow the official line or risk losing their licences.