Estonia placed ninth, tying with Ireland, in the 2010 Reporters without Borders press freedom index, as Northern Europe continues to lead the rankings with Finland in first place.
The annual report finds that the freedom of Estonia’s press decreased relative to other countries in recent years after earning third place in 2007. Latvia’s striking decline has sharply led it from 13th last year to 30th. Lithuania holds 11th place and Russia earned 140th.
The top 10 also includes Iceland, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and New Zealand. Finishing up the list is Eritrea, preceded by North Korea, Turkmenistan and Iran.
Reporters without Borders Secretary General Jean-François Julliard said the study clearly shows that economic development and societal reforms do not always go hand-in-hand with human rights. He warned that the EU could lose its position as the human rights leader of the world if EU members continue to fall in the rankings.