2021 saw a record number of journalists imprisoned, China leads list of offenders: CPJ Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 09, 2021, 02:19 PM(IST)

In 2021, China imprisoned 50 journalists, more than any other country, followed by Myanmar (26), which arrested journalists in response to its February 1 coup, then Egypt (25), Vietnam (23) and Belarus (19). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Although the reasons for jailing reporters vary by country, the record number underscores political turmoil around the globe and a growing intolerance for independent reporting, according to the nonprofit

New data shows there was a global high in 2021 when it comes to journalists behind bars. There are 293 journalists imprisoned as of December 1 this year, according to this report from the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists.

As part of its annual survey on media freedom and attacks on journalists, the CPJ reported on Thursday that at least 24 journalists were killed for their reports, and another 18 died under circumstances that made it impossible to determine whether they were targeted.

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Although the reasons for jailing reporters vary by country, the record number underscores political turmoil around the globe and a growing intolerance for independent reporting, according to the nonprofit.

Journalist imprisoned

"This is the sixth year in a row that CPJ has documented record numbers of journalists imprisoned around the world," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon in a statement.

"The number reflects two inextricable challenges – governments are determined to control and manage information, and they are increasingly brazen in their efforts to do so."

Journalists who died in 2021 include Danish Siddiqui, a photographer for Reuters who was killed by the Taliban in July, and Gustavo Sanchez Cabrera, who was killed by a gunman in Mexico in June.

Journalists killed

In 2021, China imprisoned 50 journalists, more than any other country, followed by Myanmar (26), which arrested journalists in response to its February 1 coup, then Egypt (25), Vietnam (23) and Belarus (19).

Also read | ​​​​​​​Record number of journalists jailed in 2020, China leads list of offenders: Report

For the first time, the CPJ's list includes journalists imprisoned in Hong Kong, the result of Beijing's 2020 national security law, which makes subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces punishable by life imprisonment.

Among the Western hemisphere's deadliest countries for press freedom is Mexico, where journalists are often targeted when their work upsets criminal gangs or corrupt officials.

(With inputs from agencies)

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