By Vatican News
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent body based in New York. It was founded in 1981 to promote press freedom and to defend the rights of public information professionals worldwide, whether their medium be print, radio, TV, or the internet.
250 journalists imprisoned
According to its annual global survey, 250 journalists were imprisoned over the past year. Most of them for publishing articles that were critical of the government, or political parties, or because they revealed cases of corruption, or denounced human rights violations.
Threats to press freedom
China and Turkey head the list as the countries with the greatest number of jailed journalists: 48 and 47 respectively. Saudi Arabia and Egypt follow, then Eritrea, Vietnam, Iran, Russia and Cameroon. Twenty of those currently detained are women. More than half the number of journalists in prison were reporters publishing online. Thirty face charges of disseminating “fake news”.
Stringent laws curbing press freedom, or government closure of media outlets, have left dozens of journalists out of work, and forced others into exile. 98% of journalists jailed worldwide are local professionals covering news in their own country.
24 journalists killed
Since it began monitoring the number of journalists killed for reasons related to their profession, since 1992, the Committee to Protect Journalists has documented the deaths of 1362 journalists. 24 media professionals were killed this year alone while on active reporting duty.
Thanks to its monitoring activities and legal patronage, the Committee to Protect Journalists has contributed to the early release of at least 80 journalists imprisoned in various countries around the world.