News / Africa

Record Number of Journalists Are Jailed in 2012

Turkey tops CPJ list with 49 jailed journalists.
Turkey tops CPJ list with 49 jailed journalists.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
A record number of journalists were imprisoned in 2012, and there are concerns it could be even worse in the New Year. The Committee to Protect Journalists has released its annual report listing the top jailers of members of the media.


CPJ’s Mohamed Keita says attacks on the press have steadily grown.

“232 journalists were jailed in 27 nations around the world as of December 1st, 2012, surpassing the 1996 record of 185. And out of all these journalists, only three were international journalists. The vast majority were local journalists,” he said.

Keita called it an “alarming trend” that began with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

“In our analysis, we’ve seen that terrorism, treason and subversion were the most common charges and allegations used by governments, such as Turkey, Iran, China to jail journalists. Anti-state charges and terrorist labels have just become the preferred means that many governments use to intimidate and detain journalists and critical reporters,” he said.

The CPJ reported Turkey as the top offender with 49 imprisoned journalists, followed by Iran with 45 and China with 32. Eritrea, Syria, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan round out the top 10.

Keita said, “In Africa, Ethiopia is a prime example of a nation that is using a very vaguely worded anti-terrorism law to jail and prosecute critical journalists and dissidents.”

Ethiopia is eighth on the list with six imprisoned journalists. Its neighbor, Eritrea, has jailed 28 journalists.

“Eritrea shares the distinction with Syria as the two nations in the world with the most inhuman treatment of journalists in prison – in that the journalists are thrown in jail without charge, without access to courts, without access to their families or the outside world,” he said.

In effect, he said, they simply disappear. The Committee to Protect Journalists official said international pressure needs to be placed on some governments to end their assault on the media. The most important thing, added Keita, is to ensure these journalists are not forgotten.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid