Record Number of Journalists Jailed in 2017, Press Advocacy Group Says

Record Number of Journalists Jailed in 2017, Press Advocacy Group Says

Yolanda Curtis
December 15, 2017

According to the CPJ, the longest-imprisoned journalist in its census was Yusuf Ruzimuradov, who was arrested on anti-state charges in 1999 in Uzbekistan.

Masked Egyptian security forces walk by a demonstration held by journalists and activists against the detention of journalists, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt April 26, 2016.

Turkey was ranked as the country where the most journalists are imprisoned in the world for a second consecutive year, followed by China and Egypt, according to the latest annual report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unleashed a stifling crackdown on dissent after a failed military coup in July 2016.

CPJ considers journalists to be "people who cover the news or comment on public affairs in media, including print, photographs, radio, television, and online", and said that it only includes on its list the names of those who it was able to confirm were arrested in connection with their work.

The world's worst jailers of journalists, according to the report, are the trio of Turkey, China and Egypt - carrying on the baton from past year.

Three Latin American journalists appear on the Committee to Protect Journalist's (CPJ) annual census of journalists imprisoned around the world.

Protest against arrest of journalists in Egypt. CPJ.

The Committee faults the United States and other Western powers for failing to pressures worlds worst jailers into improving what it terms 'bleak climate for press freedom'.

According to the CPJ, the pattern "reflects a dismal failure by the worldwide community to address a global crisis in freedom of the press".

The number of journalists imprisoned for just doing their work around the world is said to be at its highest in 2017. They are freelance correspondent of Novoya Gazeta Khudoberdi Nurmatov (Ali Feruz) from Uzbekistan, accused of violating migration legislation, and Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, detained on espionage charges.

The total number of journalists imprisoned on a "fake news" charge worldwide jumped to 21, according to Beiser.

In 87 per cent of the cases, journalists were persecuted for their professional activity - primarily for covering political events.

"Lack of due process in some countries results in such a dearth of information that it's almost impossible for the CPJ to determine what landed a journalist in jail, whether they have any health problems, and sometimes even whether they are alive".

The report included those detained as of December 1, and did not include those who had died in custody in 2017 or who had been released. Almost all the jailed journalists are locals and the percentage of freelancers is higher this year, accounting for 29 percent of cases.

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