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World Press Freedom Day, a reminder that the press isn’t free in most countries

While many journalists and press freedom proponents celebrate World Press Freedom Day today, other journalists in countries like Turkey and Egypt continue to be detained by respective governments.

More than 85 percent of countries in the world live with either partial or no press freedom.

In 2015, press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years, according to a 2016 press freedom report released late last month by Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization to globally expand freedom and democracy. The report was based on a set of 23 methodology questions covering legal, political, and economic environments in which print, broadcast, and digital media operate.

Only a small percentage, 13 percent, of countries throughout the world enjoy press freedom, the report said.

World Press Freedom was proclaimed in 1993 by the UN General Assembly and serves to inform citizens of world violations of press freedom, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization website.

Freedom House also reported that the largest press freedom declines were in Bangladesh, Turkey, Burundi, France, Serbia, Yemen, Egypt, Macedonia, and Zimbabwe.

Just today, the Associated Press wrote that a Turkish columnist appeared in court, accused of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In the past year there have been a stream of crackdowns on the press in Turkey.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, Egypt, two Egyptian journalists were arrested on Sunday when government security forces stormed the Egyptian Press Syndicate’s headquarters, The Middle East Monitor reported. Egypt has also experienced on-going arrests with long-awaited trials for foreign and local journalists.

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