Turkey Remains World Leader in Imprisoning Journalists

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The Committee to Protect Journalists has issued its global report claiming that Turkey is once again the world leader in imprisoning journalists, often on charges of “terrorism, treason and sedition.” 

The International Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has issued a global assessment following the one they issued in October on the “Freedom of Press Crisis in Turkey.”

The CPJ has updated its October report, which said there were 76 journalists in Turkish prisons, 61 of them purely for their professional activities. CPJ says now that there are 49 journalists in Turkish prisons, taking into account those released since October.

In the new report that covers imprisoned journalists in 27 countries, Turkey again leads the world in detaining journalists.

The report said that “governments are resorting to accusations of terrorism and working against the state to silence voices at sensitive times,” and identified Turkey as “the country that has detained the most journalists in the world.”

According to the CPJ’s annual global report, as of Dec. 1 there were 232 journalists in prisons, up from 179 last year. The CPJ said that Iran comes after Turkey, with 45 journalists imprisoned, and then China with 32. The only European country mentioned in the report is Italy, with one detained journalist.

The CPJ says at least 132 journalists have been imprisoned on charges of “terrorism, treason and sedition.” Worldwide, 63 journalists are kept behind bars without any charges brought against them and 19 of them are in prison on accusations that have nothing to do with journalism. These charges are just to silence them.

During a press conference in Istanbul on Oct. 8, CPJ envoy Kati Marton said she had met with Turkey’s Minister of Justice Sadullah Ergin. She noted, “We went through our list one by one and offered to study the cases together, but the minister refused. After our meeting with the minister I have no doubts that all the names on our list are journalists.”

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Found in: violence against journalists, violence, journalism, freedom of the press in turkey, freedom of the press
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