Press freedom is suffering in the Asian region, according to Bob Dietz, Asia programme co-ordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists. 'As wealthy as much of Asia has become, there is still not the same level of press freedom you would expect,' he said. 'In places like Thailand and the Philippines, leaders are coming down heavily on the press - and Singapore is a deep disappointment. Myanmar and North Korea are seriously censored and in Pakistan, national security, the last refuge of scoundrels in government to justify restrictions on the media, is being used to detain journalists. 'Given the state of economic development, Asia really should be much further along.' He said governments would do well to take heed of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who in his message last year on World Press Freedom Day said: 'Censorship, the suppression of information, intimidation and interference are a denial of democracy, an obstacle to development, and a threat to the security of all.'