Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:04 GMT

Freedom of the Press - Mongolia (2003)

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 30 April 2003
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Mongolia (2003), 30 April 2003, available at: [accessed 27 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Status: Partly Free
Legal Environment: 11
Political Influences: 11
Economic Pressures: 14
Total Score: 36

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 63
Religious Groups: Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism (96 percent), Muslim and other (4 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Mongol (85 percent), Kazakh (7 percent), other (8 percent)
Capital: Ulaanbaatar

The government generally respects press freedom, which is provided for in the constitution. A 1998 media law bans the censorship of public information and also requires authorities to privatize all media. However, this latter provision had not yet been implemented by year's end, and some broadcast media remain under state control. Libel is a criminal offense, and the law places the burden of proof on defendants in defamation cases. In August, an editor was sentenced to one year's imprisonment for publishing false information. Mongolian media offer a range of independent and party views that often are critical of the government, but some outlets practice self-censorship. The press claims that there is indirect censorship through frequent government libel lawsuits and tax audits following critical articles. In addition, lack of access to information continues to hamper investigative journalism.

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