2022 leaves record number of journalists in jail: rights org

Paris, Dec 14 (EFE).- The year 2022 has left a record number of 533 journalists imprisoned worldwide, while those killed stood at 57, 11 more than in 2021 and almost half in Latin America, according rights organization Reporters Without Borders.

In addition to these figures, 65 journalists have been kidnapped and 49 are missing.

“The record reached last year has been broken again: 533 journalists were imprisoned for practicing their profession as of Dec. 1, 2022, that is, 13.4 percent more than in 2021,” the organization said in a statement.

It also drew attention to the unprecedented number of women journalists in prison, which stands at 78 and represents a “historic increase of about 30 percent,” compared to the figures for 2021.

“Journalists now represent about 15 percent of all those incarcerated, compared to 7 percent five years ago,” the text reads.

The balance points to China, where “censorship and surveillance have reached extreme levels” as the “largest prison for journalists in the world,” with 110 imprisoned and cases such as that of independent journalist Huang Xueqin, who covered topics related to corruption, industrial pollution and the harassment of women.

Myanmar is second, with 62 imprisonments, but the report also spoke of an “intensification of repression in Iran,” which has led to the Middle East and Asia concentrating 75 percent of journalists in prison.

With 47 journalists jailed just a month after this latest wave of protests began, Iran has become the third largest jail for journalists.

“Among the first journalists arrested were two women, Nilufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, who helped denounce the death of the young Iranian Kurdish Mahsa Amini. Both face the death penalty,” the organization said.

The organization’s Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said she lamented that “dictatorial and authoritarian regimes” are “filling their prisons at full speed” by detaining journalists.

“This new record of journalists in prison confirms the compelling and urgent need to resist these unscrupulous powers,” Deloire said.

Local journalists are imprisoned much more, the report read, and international press covers “much less” because of “precariousness”, which leads to “predators of press freedom” roaming “at ease with national independent journalists.” EFE


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