Census: Number of Journalists Imprisoned Reaches Record High

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 262 reporters remained behind bars throughout the globe as of December 1, 2017, a record high since the organization began monitoring the issue in the early 1990s. The group’s study found Turkey to again be the worst jailer, with 73 journalists currently imprisoned for their work, as the country continues its crackdown on press freedom in the wake of the July 2015 attempted coup. China and Egypt retained the second and third spots, with 41 and 20 cases respectively. CPJ’s census shows that nearly 200 of the journalists, roughly three-thirds of the total, were imprisoned under ambiguous anti-terrorism laws. Overall, nearly ninety percent of those jailed covered politics. Other top offending countries include Eritrea, where 15 reporters have been imprisoned, as well as Azerbaijan and Vietnam with 10 incidences each. The study accounts only for journalists in government custody and not those who have disappeared or are thought to be in the captivity of non-state groups. The International Federation of Journalists estimates that an additional 69 members of the media have been killed in 2017 while performing their jobs.

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