East Timor

East Timor

Draconian media law

No journalists have been jailed in connection with their work in East Timor, a country with just 1.2 million inhabitants, since it won independence in 2002. Articles 40 and 41 of its constitution guarantee free speech and media freedom. But various forms of pressure are used to prevent journalists from working freely, including intimidatory 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 reservations 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. After the political impasse resulting from the parliamentary elections in July 2017, new elections are to be held in May 2018 and thereafter the new government must give concrete evidence of an intention to elevate East Timor in the World Press Freedom Index.

in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index



98 in 2017

Global score


32.82 in 2017

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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