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Record Number of Journalists Jailed Globally

Written by on December 15, 2022

Criminalization of journalism is on the rise around the globe with a record 363 journalists jailed, according to data published Wednesday.

In its annual census of journalists jailed in retaliation for their work, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) recorded its highest tally since it began compiling data in 1992. The 363 in jail as of midnight December 1 mark a 20% increase from last year, according to the report.

“Imprisonment is the most extreme manifestation of this trend, but it is not the only thing,” Carlos Martinez de la Serna, program director at CPJ, told VOA as he discussed the rise in arrests and attacks on media.

“Vaguely worded legislature” and new laws banning “fake news” have made journalism a punishable offense in some countries, while spyware and criminal defamation cases are used to silence and intimidate journalists, CPJ found.

The world’s top jailer this year was Iran with 62 journalists behind bars, 24 of whom are women. The majority were arrested for covering the ongoing protests that began in late-September after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died while in state custody.

Iranian authorities have detained 71 journalists since protests began, but some of those were later released.

Journalists are among an estimated 18,000 citizens arrested during protests across Iran, according to numbers from the Human Rights Activists News Agency, a non-governmental organization in Iran.

 

 

 


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