ICE blogs

December 15, 2017

Scandal of jailed journalists

Filed under: Blogroll, News, ethical space editors blog, Headlines, journalism, conflict, human rights — news_editor @ 5:15 pm

Some 262 journalists are currently in jails around the world – an increase on last year’s historical high of 259. Turkey is again the worst jailer, with 73 journalists imprisoned for their work.

China and Egypt again take the second and third spot, with 41 and 20 cases respectively. The worst three jailers are responsible for jailing 134– or 51 per cent– of the total. Nearly all the jailed journalists are local and the per centage of freelances is higher this year, accounting for 29 per cent of cases.

Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, commented: “In a just society, no journalist should ever be imprisoned for their work and reporting critically, but 262 are paying that price. It is shameful that for the second year in a row, a record number of journalists are behind bars. Countries that jail journalists for what they publish are violating international law and must be held accountable. The fact that repressive governments are not paying a price for throwing journalists in jail represents a failure of the international community.’

Other leading jailers of journalists in 2017 are Eritrea, with 15 cases, and Azerbaijan and Vietnam, with 10 cases each.

Two journalists jailed in China, including Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, died just weeks after being released on medical parole. In Egypt, CPJ found over half of the jailed journalists had health conditions.

The jail census accounts only for journalists in government custody and does not include those who have disappeared or are held captive by non-state groups, such as several Yemeni journalists CPJ believes to be held by the Ansar Allah movement, known as the Houthis. These cases are classified as ‘missing’ or ‘abducted’.

• See https://cpj.org/reports/2017/12/journalists-prison-jail-record-number-turkey-china-egypt.php.

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