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CPJ: Eritrea, Ethiopia rank Africa’s worst jailer of the press

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December 13, 2012 (PARIS) - Eritrea and Ethiopia have respectively become Africa’s leading jailers of journalists, according to the jailed Journalists List of 2012 released by the US-based, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

The number of journalists imprisoned worldwide has reached a record high this year, with 232 reporters, photojournalists and editors imprisoned in 27 countries.

The figure above has seen a rise of 53 to that of last year and is the highest since CPJ began the survey in 1990.

The group said it has found widespread use of anti-state charges primarily related with terrorism, treason and subversion as most common allegations brought against critical journalists and editors.

“We are living in an age when anti-state charges and ‘terrorist’ labels have become the preferred means that governments use to intimidate, detain, and imprison journalists,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.

According to the new survey, Turkey leads the world’s worst jailers list with 49 journalists behind bars followed by Iran and China who imprisoned 45 and 32 journalists respectively.

Eritrea and Syria are ranked the world’s fourth and fifth worst jailers who respectively jailed 28 and 15 journalists without charge or due process and holding them in secret prisons without access to lawyers or family members.

Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, and Saudi Arabia were also included in the top ten foremost jailers of journalists.

“Criminalizing probing coverage of inconvenient topics violates not only international law, but impedes the right of people around the world to gather, disseminate, and receive independent information” added Simon.

“With a record number of journalists imprisoned around the world, the time has come to speak out,” said Simon.

“We must fight back against governments seeking to cloak their repressive tactics under the banner of fighting terrorism; we must push for broad legislative changes in countries where critical journalism is being criminalized; we must stand up for all those journalists in prison and do all in our power to secure their release; and we must ensure the Internet itself remains an open global platform for critical expression” he added.

The press freedom group said it has sent letters to the governments of the countries listed in CPJ’s 2012 census expressing serious concern over the situation.

(ST)

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  • 14 December 2012 06:36, by wang

    North Sudan has failed to fit into that category because its killed all her journalists by stoning them to death. Shame on those who are supporting NCP lead by Hom-Albahsir and his thugs.

    repondre message

    • 14 December 2012 08:40, by King of jungle

      Dear Me,
      Actually I greed wiz u dat,North Sudan is da Home of terrors and criminal on the earth,why are they not in the list of countries specifically who have highest rank jailed Criminal journalist? Top dog call Bashir finished them by killing them and he even cursed to death also, he will be stoned and be kill like Gaddafi & Saddam,He thought dat killing of the prisoner is da solution,foolish.

      repondre message

      • 14 December 2012 08:53, by King of jungle

        USELESS and Fooooooooooolish leader call Bashir who is nat even educated ,illiterate leader that only need clear all the people of Sudan,dat is why he jailed Opposition leaders included Thalagon and He want also to clear them dieing them by killing them so that He will remain and eat the country alone,curse on u, u will die soon,Useless leader dat even has no wife and children,how can u be Human?

        repondre message

  • 15 December 2012 03:39, by mohamed mahgoub

    S. Tribune I don’t need to know about others cuz we already have enough problems & diseases such as corruption,terrorists ,NCP,Albashir,wars ,economic hardships.....etc to keep us busy for a hundred yrs come to solve ,4get to mention the lost of %75 of oil revenue due to the south breaking away.

    repondre message

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