A total of 259 journalists are currently languishing in jail worldwide, including 81 in coup-hit Turkey, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in its annual report released this week.
This is the highest number in any one country at a time and every one of them faces anti-state charges, CPJ said of Turkey.China, which was the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014 and 2015, dropped to the second spot with 38 journalists in jail.
Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia are third, fourth and fifth worst jailers of journalists, respectively. Combined, the top five countries on CPJ’s census were responsible for jailing more than two-thirds of all journalists in prison worldwide.
“Journalists working to gather and share information are performing a public service and their rights are protected under international law. It is shocking therefore that so many governments are violating their international commitments by jailing journalists and suppressing critical speech,” CPJ executive director Joel Simon said.
“Turkey is at the vanguard of this authoritarian trend. Every day that Turkey’s journalists languish in jail in violation of that country’s own laws, Turkey’s standing in the world is diminished,” Simon added.
(with the assistance of CPJ)