Guyana moves four places up on Press Freedom Index

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Guyana has moved four places up on the new World Press Freedom Index, which was released Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders.

Guyana ranks 51 on the index this year; the country was ranked at 55 last year.

In its report, Reporters Without Borders noted that the Cybercrime Bill that was passed into law in July 2018 took into account amendments it proposed regarding provisions that could have posed a threat to press freedom if used to penalize journalists for publishing reports deemed critical of the government or that are based on information from confidential sources.

However, the press freedom group noted that the legislation remains imperfect.

It noted that the members of the media regulatory authority are appointed directly by the president and this restricts the freedom of certain media outlets, which are denied licenses.

“Recent attempts to improve regulation of the broadcast industry involved no consultation with any broadcasters,” Reporters Without Borders stated.

It noted that although Guyana’s constitution guarantees free speech and the right to information, defamation laws, which provide for fines and up to two years in jail – still exists.

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