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    Reporters Without Borders Slam US for 'War on Whistleblowers'

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    The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization said in its annual World Press Freedom Index published on Wednesday that US media freedom faced difficulties, because of "the government’s war on whistleblowers."

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the recent index, the United States ranks 41st out of 180 in the press freedom index.

    "US media freedom, enshrined in the First Amendment to the 1787 constitution, has encountered a major obstacle – the government’s war on whistleblowers who leak information about its surveillance activities, spying and foreign operations, especially those linked to counter-terrorism," the RSF said in a comment on the US place in the ranking.

    The comment added that US journalists were not protected by the legislation that would guarantee "their right not to reveal their sources and other confidential work-related information."

    Among the most media-covered examples of US whistleblower is Edward Snowden, who started making revelations about widespread US global surveillance in 2013. The same year, Russia granted the whistleblower temporary asylum for one year. In August 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit to live in Russia.

    In the United States, he faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of espionage and theft of government property.

    The World Press Freedom Index is the annual ranking that reflects "the intensity of the attacks on journalistic freedom and independence by governments, ideologies and private-sector interests during the past year," according to the RSF website. The 2016 World Press Freedom Index shows decline in the ranking for such countries as Burundi, Norway, Poland, Germany and Brazil among others, while such states as Russia, Tunisia, Belgium, Ireland and Iran have improved their position in the rating.

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    Tags:
    Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Edward Snowden, United States
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