Number of journalists jailed for their work in 2017 at record high of 262 – CPJ

The number of journalists imprisoned for just doing their work around the world is said to be at its highest in 2017. 262 journalists are in prison for being journalists. There were 259 in jail in 2016.

According to a special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), for the second year in a row, the number of journalists imprisoned for their work hit a historical high, as the US and other Western powers failed to pressure the world’s worst jailers–Turkey, China, and Egypt–into improving the bleak climate for press freedom.

The report accuses the US, in particular, for cozying up to strongmen such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“At the same time, President Donald Trump’s nationalistic rhetoricfixation 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. Globally, nearly three-quarters of journalists are jailed on anti-state charges, many under broad and vague terror laws, while the number imprisoned on a charge of “false news,” though modest, rose to a record 21,” the report says.

The report, an annual survey of journalists in jail, indicates that the worst three jailers are responsible for jailing 134–or 51 per cent–of the total.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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