by Roy Greenslade, The Guardian Dec. 17, 2014
More journalists are in jail across the world at present than a year ago. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 220 journalists are in prison, an increase of nine from 2013.
It is the second-highest number of imprisoned journalists since CPJ started its annual census in 1990, and highlights a resurgence of authoritarian governments in countries such as China, Ethiopia, Burma and Egypt.
China’s use of anti-state charges and Iran’s revolving door policy in imprisoning reporters, bloggers, editors and photographers earned the two countries the dubious distinction of being the world’s worst and second worst jailers of journalists, respectively.
Together, China and Iran are holding a third of journalists jailed globally. The 44 journalists in Chinese jails, up from 32 the previous year, reflects the pressure that the country’s president, Xi Jinping, has exerted on media, lawyers, dissidents and academics to toe the government line. Twenty-nine of the journalists behind bars in China were held on anti-state charges.
In Iran, the administration of its president, Hassan Rouhani, has maintained repressive measures against the press. This year, Iranian authorities were holding 30 journalists in jail, down from 35 in 2013.
The other eight on the list of the top 10 worst jailers of journalists are Eritrea, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Syria, Egypt, Burma, Azerbaijan and Turkey.