Report: Record High Number of Journalists Currently Jailed Around the World

Protesters hold pictures of jailed Cumhuriyet journalists during a demonstration against their arrest outside the courthouse of Istanbul on July 28, 2017 / Getty

BY:

The number of journalists jailed around the world in relation to their work has hit a record high, according to a new report from an advocacy group.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, said in its report that 262 journalists were imprisoned as of Dec. 1, a slight increase from the 259 recorded last year, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Twenty-one of those in jail were imprisoned on charges of "false news," also a record number.

The Committee to Protect Journalists places some of the blame for the detentions on President Donald Trump.

"President Donald Trump's nationalistic rhetoric, fixation on Islamic extremism, and insistence on labeling critical media ‘fake news' serves to reinforce the framework of accusations and legal charges that allow such leaders to preside over the jailing of journalists," the group said.

Over half of the imprisoned journalists came from just three countries—Turkey, China, and Egypt—according to Elana Beiser, the author of the report. Turkey led the way with 73 jailed journalists, followed by China, with 41, and Egypt, with 20. Other countries with high numbers of jailed journalists were Eritrea (15), Vietnam and Azerbaijan (10 each), Uganda (8), Saudi Arabia and Syria (7 each), Bahrain (6), and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iran, and Russia (4 each).

The committee also said that its numbers might be an underestimate, because the group only counted cases where there was a clear link between journalists' arrests and their work. The advocacy group also did not count journalists who may be held captive by non-state organizations like terror groups, only focusing on those in government custody.

Jack Heretik

Jack Heretik   Email Jack | Full Bio | RSS
Jack is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He is from Northern Ohio and graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2011. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Jack was a Production Assistant for EWTN's The World Over and worked on Sen. Bill Cassidy's 2014 campaign.

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