Bottom line: It is not good.
That absurd but sinister arrest in Belarus of a website editor for publishing pictures of teddy bears is just one example of the way in which the former Soviet satellites have failed to allow freedom of the press to flourish.
The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), which keeps a watching brief on affairs in many of the countries, has now registered a “growing concern” about the treatment meted out to journalists by the authorities.
Though nominally “republics”, few of them are truly democratic. Several are nothing more than autocracies without any respect for human rights for their citizens let alone press freedom.
My favorite is the one where the Romanian interim president labelled the Washington Post as “contaminated.” He blamed the Post and other international publications for the country’s deteriorating international image. (Sounds like he has a lot in common with the U.S. Tea party.)