Brunei | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Freedom of the press is not provided for by law and is significantly restricted in practice. Legislation that took effect in October 2001 further restricts the rights of the media by requiring newspapers to apply for annual publishing permits, allowing officials to shut down newspapers without showing cause, threatening journalists with jail terms for publishing "false news," and requiring noncitizens to obtain government approval before working for the media. Private newspapers are owned or controlled by the sultan's family, or generally practice self-censorship on sensitive issues. However, several dailies do carry letters that criticize government policies. The only local broadcast media are operated by the government-controlled Radio Television Brunei, although cable television is available. There are no apparent restrictions on Internet use.