Thursday 8 December 2011

Number of journalists in jail jumps by 20 per cent

The number of journalists imprisoned worldwide has shot up more than 20 percent to its highest level since the mid-1990s, the annual census by the Committee to Protect Journalists reveals.

The CPJ says the increase is driven largely by widespread jailings across the Middle East and North Africa.

In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, CPJ identified 179 writers, editors, and photojournalists behind bars on December 1, an increase of 34 over its 2010 tally.

Iran was the world’s worst jailer, with 42 journalists behind bars, as authorities kept up a campaign of anti-press intimidation that began after the country’s disputed presidential election more than two years ago. Eritrea, China, Burma, Vietnam, Syria, and Turkey also ranked among the world’s worst.

Worldwide, 86 journalists whose work appeared primarily online were in jail on December 1, constituting nearly half of the census. At least 78 freelance journalists were in prison worldwide, constituting about 45 percent of the census.

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