220 journalists in jail around the world: CPJ

MUMBAI: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has identified that 220 journalists are in jail around the world in 2014. This is an increase of nine from last year’s tally.

The committee mentioned that the tally marks the second-highest number of journalists in jail since CPJ began taking an annual census of imprisoned journalists in 1990, and highlights a resurgence of authoritarian governments in countries such as China, Ethiopia, Burma, and Egypt.

“China’s use of anti-state charges and Iran’s revolving door policy in imprisoning reporters, bloggers, editors, and photographers earned the two countries the dubious distinction of being the world’s worst and second worst jailers of journalists, respectively,” says the report.

The list of the top 10 worst jailers of journalists was rounded out by Eritrea, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Syria, Egypt, Burma, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

In recent years, journalist jailings in the Americas have become increasingly rare, with one documented in each 2012 and 2013. This year, the region has two: a Cuban blogger was sentenced to five years in prison in retaliation for his critical blog, and in Mexico, an independent journalist and activist for Mayan causes has been charged with sedition.

The report goes on the point out that 20 per cent, or 45, of the journalists imprisoned globally are being held with no charge disclosed. Also, online journalists accounted for more than half, or 119, of the imprisoned journalists.

CPJ believes that journalists should not be imprisoned for doing their jobs. The organisation has sent letters expressing its serious concerns to each country that has imprisoned a journalist. In the past year, CPJ advocacy led to the early release of at least 41 imprisoned journalists worldwide.


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