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Lithuania has dropped one place to the 36th on the traditional World Press Freedom Index published by the organization Reporters Without Borders.
Press kiosk
Press kiosk
© DELFI / Juozas Markevičius

Based in Paris, the organization said Lithuania's media was "reputedly independent and free to criticize the government, but not always the big business interests."

"Journalists' sources are well protected since the adoption in 2014 of amendments to the law on the provision of information to the public," Reporters Without Borders said.

"A small number of national and foreign companies own the media. Legislation prohibits banks from investing in media outlets but they circumvent the ban by means of holding companies. Media offices can be searched at any time, and journalists have been wiretapped," reads the report.

Among the Baltic states, Estonia scored the highest point and ranked 12th, followed by Latvia in 28th. Poland was listed 54th, Russia 148th and Belarus 153rd.

Lithuania has been declining on the index for the past two years – it was 31st in 2015. The country held the highest 10th position in 2009.

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