China, Egypt worst jailers of journalists
17 December 2015, Nirapad News: China, Egypt and Iran topped a list of countries jailing journalists in 2015, a year that saw a slight decline in the number of journalists behind bars worldwide.
A press freedom watchdog has said, reports Al Jazeera.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists released a report on Tuesday that identified a list of 199 journalists in prison due to their work in 2015, as compared with 221 the previous year.
A quarter of those jailed were in China, the world’s worst offender for the second year in a row. The 49 journalists in prison there represent a record low for the country.
Iran, Vietnam and Ethiopia were among the countries holding fewer journalists prisoner than before, but many of those released continued to face legal charges or harsh restrictions, including forced exile, the report said.
Commenting on Egypt, the committee said, ‘President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi continues to use the pretext of national security to clamp down on dissent. Cairo is holding 23 journalists in jail, compared with 12 a year ago’.
According to the report, media freedom has also taken a turn for the worse in Turkey, which has seen a doubling of the number of journalists in jail over the year to 14.
‘The country released dozens of journalists in 2014 after being the world’s worst jailer for two consecutive years, but in 2015 – amid two general elections, further entanglement in the Syrian civil war, and the end of a fragile ceasefire with fighters of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party – fresh arrests make it the fifth worst jailer globally,’ the report said.