Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Maldives 72nd out of a total of 180 on its 2021 World Press Freedom Index on Tuesday, climbing up seven ranks from last year.
Maldives has seen a rise in the ranks since 2018, moving up from 120th to 79th place in 2020.
In a tweet posted today, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said he was “very proud” of the country’s big improvement in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index. He said this achievement underscores the government’s “ongoing commitment to a safe environment where journalists can operate independently without bias or favor.”
In the 2021 Press Freedom Index, neighboring India and Sri Lanka rank 142nd and 127th, respectively.
Furthermore, Malaysia recorded the worst deterioration in this year’s World Press Freedom Index, down 18 places in the ranking to 119. China ranked 177th in 2019, 2020, and 2021, down from a period at 176th from 2015 to 2018. It currently rates higher only than countries like Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea, which for years have come in last while Norway, Finland, and Sweden rank the highest.