Europe & Central Asia


Attacks on the Press   |   Croatia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Croatia


After returning to power in 2003, the nationalist Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), tried to reassure voters and the international community that it had moved beyond the repressive right-wing policies that marked its ironfisted rule during the 1990s. Senior HDZ officials reasserted influence over state media but kept a looser hold on independent journalists as Croatia bids to join the European Union in 2007.
March 14, 2005 11:37 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Georgia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Georgia


Many in the news media had high hopes that this South Caucasus nation would pursue a path of greater press freedom due to the instrumental role that journalists played in the "Rose Revolution," which swept President Eduard Shevardnadze and his corruption-riddled Cabinet out of office in November 2003. The independent television station Rustavi-2 was particularly important, broadcasting opposition protests and giving airtime to government critics.
March 14, 2005 11:32 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   France, South Africa

Attacks on the Press 2004: Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast

Although legislation passed at the end of 2004 eliminated criminal penalties for most press offenses, journalists in Ivory Coast face much more immediate and dangerous threats, including harassment and violence, amid the political tension and uncertainty that have engulfed the country since civil war began in 2002. Serious attacks on the press have occurred in both the government-controlled south and the rebel-held north.
March 14, 2005 11:27 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Kazakhstan

Attacks on the Press 2004: Kazakhstan


President Nursultan Nazarbayev ignored Western criticism in 2004 as he consolidated his control over the independent and opposition media to ensure his success in September's parliamentary elections and the upcoming 2006 presidential vote.
March 14, 2005 11:26 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Kyrgyzstan

Attacks on the Press 2004: Kyrgyzstan


As the 2005 parliamentary and presidential elections approached, President Askar Akayev and his allies used restrictive laws and politicized government agencies to crack down on opposition voices and the country's few remaining independent media outlets.
March 14, 2005 11:25 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Moldova

Attacks on the Press 2004: Moldova


Thirteen years after declaring independence from the Soviet Union, Moldova is plagued by a corrupt communist government, a stagnant economy, and an ongoing civil conflict with the breakaway Trans-Dniester Region. Corruption is widespread in a society where criminal groups have fused with the government and business. Independent and opposition media struggle to survive amid a general state of lawlessness and poverty that has forced many to align themselves with political parties to survive. The government continues to use politicized agencies to control the press.
March 14, 2005 11:22 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   China, Germany, South Korea

Attacks on the Press 2004: North Korea

North Korea

While foreign analysts kept guessing at the state of nuclear development in North Korea, one thing remained certain in 2004: There is no free press in the country, only government outlets that voice the pronouncements of Kim Jong Il's authoritarian regime.
March 14, 2005 11:18 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Romania

Attacks on the Press 2004: Romania


In its annual assessment of Romania's democratic reforms, the European Commission criticized the government's press freedom record. Authorities' use of lucrative advertising contracts and forgiveness of debts to the state to influence television news coverage, as well as provincial politicians' acquisition of media outlets to promote their political and business interests, continued to erode media freedom, the report noted. The negative assessment could undermine Romania's efforts to secure EU and NATO membership in 2007.
March 14, 2005 11:14 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Russia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Russia


A midyear purge of independent voices on state television and an alarming suppression of news coverage during the Beslan hostage crisis marked a year in which Russian President Vladimir Putin increasingly exerted Soviet-style control over the media. Using intelligence agents and an array of politicized state agencies, Putin pushed for an obedient and patriotic press in keeping with his ever tightening grip on Russia's deteriorating democracy.

Attacks on the Press   |   Serbia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Serbia and Montenegro

Serbia and Montenegro

Political paralysis consumed Serbia for much of 2004. Conservative reformists and ultranationalists argued over the bloody legacy of former President Slobodan Milosevic and refused to extradite Serbs indicted for war crimes to The Hague–based U.N. -tribunal. Amid a chaotic and polarized atmosphere, journalists were vulnerable to -intimidation from politicians, government agencies, businessmen, accused war criminals, and organized crime.
March 14, 2005 11:11 AM ET



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