Out of the 250 journalists imprisoned worldwide in 2019, 48 were in China, making the communist country the most oppressive for journalist, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ). It has replaced Turkey at the top of the ignoble list.
The report said imprisonment in China “has steadily increased since President Xi Jinping consolidated political control of the country”.
”A crackdown in Xinjiang province – where a million members of Muslim ethnic groups have been sent to internment camps – has led to the arrests of dozens of journalists, including some apparently jailed for journalistic activity years earlier,” the report added.
Turkey was responsible for locking up 47 journalists, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt jailed 26 each, Eritrea 16, Vietnam 12 and Iran 11.
The number of those arrested were accused of producing “false news” has increased to 30%, the report said.
It noted “authoritarianism, instability, and protests” had led to an increase in the number of journalists imprisoned in the Middle East.
Around 8% of those jailed globally were women, down from 13% last year.
The subjects most likely to land journalists in jail were politics, human rights and corruption, the report added.
“CPJ believes that journalists should not be imprisoned for doing their jobs,” the committee said.
The report was a snapshot of the journalists imprisoned on December 01 each year, it added, and does not include those who have been released earlier or taken by non-state entities such as militant groups. (Source: Independent UK)