East Timor

East Timor

Draconian media law

No journalists have even been jailed in connection with their work in East Timor, a country with fewer than 1.2 million inhabitants. Articles 40 and 41 of its Constitution guarantee free speech and media freedom. However various forms of pressure are used to prevent journalists from working freely, including legal proceedings, police violence, and public denigration of media outlets by government officials or parliamentarians. The creation of a Press Council in 2015 was a step in the right direction, despite the reservation expressed by the media about the way its members are elected. But the media law adopted in 2014, in defiance of the international community’s warnings, poses a permanent threat to journalists and encourages self-censorship. Until now, East Timor has never managed to enter the top half of the World Press Freedom Index, but all eyes are now turned on President-Elect Francisco Guterres and the policies he may adopt to promote media freedom.

in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index



99 in 2016

Global score


32.02 in 2016

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2018
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