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Independent media continued to be active and were generally able to criticize the government.Coverage by state-owned broadcasters had favored the incumbents in the run-up to July 2005 elections, and at least four cases of violence against journalists were reported that year, but the country largely avoided a repeat of such problems in 2006.Choose any Press Freedom report by clicking the first letter of the country name.A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V Y Z LE=Legal Environment PE=Political Environment EE=Economic Environment Afghanistan Not Free LE: 21 PE: 28 EE: 20 Total Score: 69 The environment for Afghanistan's fledgling media worsened slightly in 2005 as journalists faced an increase in attacks and legal harassment during the year.Back to Top Algeria Not Free LE: 22 PE: 23 EE: 17 Total Score: 62 According to Algerias constitution, press freedom is a guaranteed right, but this has not stopped authorities from using legal and extralegal methods to harass the independent press.The laws were amended in 2001 to criminalize defamation of the president, the parliament, the judiciary, and the military.Religious conservatives also targeted the progressive Tolo TV, which had been criticized by clerics for airing programs that "oppose Islam and national values." In May, a popular female television presenter who had worked at Tolo was murdered, possibly by family members who did not approve job, and other program hosts received threats or were forced off the air, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.Although registration requirements remain in place, authorities have granted more than 250 publications licenses, and several dozen private radio stations and eight television stations are now broadcasting, with the expansion of independent print and broadcast outlets continuing in 2005.
The plan came as part of a deal allowing municipal elections to proceed in early 2007.Press freedom advocates in 2006 continued to urge the government to decriminalize defamation, which could incur a maximum sentence of two years in prison under existing statutes.Although the parliament failed to act on draft amendments introduced in 2005, Prime Minister Sali Berisha in October of that year ordered government officials to use the right of reply rather than civil or criminal defamation suits to address perceived bias or inaccuracy in the media. The prospects for legal reform improved in June, when Albania signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union.The pact, which capped more than two years of negotiations, was considered a key milestone on the path to EU membership, and EU officials said media freedom would be among their priorities as they pressed Albania to make additional structural improvements.The countrys parliament-appointed broadcast regulator, the National Council of Radio and Television (NCRT), continued to face accusations of political influence and incompetence.