Watchdog cites freelancer arrest for HK reporting, says China the world's biggest jailer

Local | 11 Dec 2019 7:43 pm

At least 250 journalists are jailed around the world, with the largest number held in China, amid a growing crackdown by authoritarian regimes on independent media, a press watchdog group
said today, AFP reports.

The group also cited the case of Chinese freelance journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin, arrested in October after writing about marching with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. She was arrested around October 17, according to a friend who declined to be named due to the political sensitivity of the matter, CNN reported at the time.
Many journalists imprisoned face "anti-state" charges or are accused of producing "false news," according to the report by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists which also cited Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Eritrea, Vietnam, and Iran for their jailing of journalists.
The press freedom watchdog said it counted at least 48 journalists jailed in China, one more than in 2018, as President Xi Jinping ramps up efforts to control the media.
That put China ahead of Turkey, which has 47 imprisoned journalists – and the largest number over the previous three years.
The report said the situation in Turkey, which had 68 journalists jailed last year, is not really an improvement but "reflects the successful efforts by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stamp out independent reporting and criticism."
The report said authoritarianism, instability and protests in the Middle East led to a rise in the number of journalists locked up in the region, with Saudi Arabia on a par with Egypt as the third worst jailer worldwide, each with 26 imprisoned.
In Saudi Arabia, no charges have been disclosed against 18 of the journalists behind bars, and CPJ expressed concern over reports of "beating, burning and starving political prisoners, including four journalists."
Campaigners say the global total of 250 remains disturbingly high even if it is slightly below the 255 counted in 2018 and the record 273 in 2016.

“CPJ believes that journalists should not be imprisoned for doing their jobs," the group said in its report.
It cited the case of Chinese freelance journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin, arrested in October after writing about marching with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
It also highlighted the case Egyptian economics reporter Mohammad Mosaed,
detained after tweeting during an internet shutdown intended to suppress news
of protests against high fuel prices.
Globally, the number charged with 'false news' rose to 30 compared with 28
last year. This charge is used most frequently in Egypt but has also been
leveled against journalists in Russia and Singapore.

 

Search Archive

Advanced Search
January 2020
S M T W T F S

Today's Standard



Yearly Magazine

Yearly Magazine