Flags with the logo of the Communist Party of China fly in the breeze near a launch pad at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in Wenchang in southern China’s Hainan province, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Chinese technicians were making final preparations Monday for a mission to bring back material from the moon’s surface for the first time in nearly half a century — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Flags with the logo of the Communist Party of China fly in the breeze near a launch pad at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in Wenchang in southern China’s Hainan province, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Chinese technicians were making final preparations Monday for a mission to bring back material from the moon’s surface for the first time in nearly half a century — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Record number of journalists jailed because of their work

China is the top journalist jailer, followed by Turkey and Egypt

NEW YORK — A record 274 journalists were in jail at the beginning of the month because of their work, nearly three dozen of them on charges of “false news,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Tuesday.

It has been five straight years where at least 250 journalists were in custody, which the committee says illustrates a crackdown by repressive governments. China is the top jailer, followed by Turkey and Egypt. Political unrest in Belarus and Ethiopia have led to big increases of reporters in custody there, the committee said.

So far this year, 29 journalists have been killed, the committee said. That’s up from 26 last year, but represents a decrease from earlier in the last decade, where 74 journalists were killed in both 2012 and 2013.

At least in part because of the coronavirus, fewer journalists are out in conflict situations where they could be hit by crossfire, said Courtney Radsch, the committee’s advocacy director. Twenty of the journalists killed so far this year were murder victims.

No journalists in the United States were killed and none were imprisoned at the beginning of the month. But 110 journalists in the U.S. were arrested and criminally charged in 2020, and around 300 were assaulted, many while covering protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has been concerned that President Donald Trump’s criticism of “fake news” in the United States has influenced autocratic leaders in other countries. Jailings are up compared to several years past: the committee said there were 131 in 2005 and 92 in 2000.

The journalists’ group hopes that President-elect Joe Biden can set a tone on the world stage by making a point of talking about press freedom.

Still, Radsch cautioned that “the world is not going to be undone all of a sudden just because we have a new U.S. president.”

The committee has increasingly turned to Congress for help in emphasizing press freedoms worldwide, Radsch said. She cited U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and California Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff as being supportive.

Forty-seven journalists were in jail in China, three of them for coverage related to China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the committee said. There were 27 jailings in Egypt, at least three related to coronavirus coverage.

Journalists in Egypt and Honduras died after contracting COVID while in prison, the committee said.

Nearly all of the jailed journalists were covering stories involving their own country. The committee said 36 of the jailed journalists were women.

By The Associated Press

journalismMedia industry

Just Posted

A representative for the office of Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu says the new Red Deer drug treatment court is expected to be operational by the middle of 2022. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer drug treatment court expected to be up and running no later than mid-2022

The Government of Alberta expects the new Red Deer drug treatment court… Continue reading

Environment Canada says rain Tuesday evening will turn to snow. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Expect wet snow Tuesday night central Alberta

Heavy wet snow could accumlate with the potential for broken tree branches

FILE - In this Thursday, April 29, 2021 file photo, giant bucket-wheel excavators extract coal at the controversial Garzweiler surface coal mine near Jackerath, west Germany. A report by the International Energy Agency on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 says immediate action is needed to reshape the world’s energy sector in order to meet ambitious climate goals by 2050. This includes ending investments in new coal mines, oil and gas wells. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Energy agency: End new fossil fuel supply investments

IEA report sets out 400 steps to transform how energy is produced, transported and used

A man inspects the rubble of destroyed commercial building and Gaza health care clinic following an Israeli airstrike on the upper floors of a commercial building near the Health Ministry in Gaza City, on Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Strike from Gaza kills 2 as Israel topples 6-story building

Latest attack from Gaza on Tuesday hits packaging plant

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A review by the national spy watchdog has found inconsistencies when it comes to federal efforts to ensure information sharing with foreign agencies does not result in torture. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Spy watchdog calls for changes to ensure information-sharing does not lead to torture

Differences in federal departments stances when dealing with the same foreign agency creates concern

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Sheffield United’s Daniel Jebbison celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Sheffield United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alex Pantling/Pool via AP
Canadian teenager Daniel Jebbison turns heads with Premier League goal

Jebbison, 17, is the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his first start in England’s top tier

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie makes a comeback this summer

Last year, summer earnings were $176 million, down 96% from 2019

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, exile Tibetans use the Olympic Rings as a prop as they hold a street protest against the holding of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in Dharmsala, India. Groups alleging human-rights abuses in China are calling for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which is sure to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, and sports federations. A coalition of activists representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others, issued a statement Monday, May 17, 2021 calling for the “full boycott,” eschewing lesser measures like “diplomatic boycotts" and negotiations with the IOC or China. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File)
AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

Canada's Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5 during the CP International competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Canada's most decorated show jumper has withdrawn from consideration for the Tokyo Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse questions a foul call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Nurse says it was the COVID-19 outbreak in March that spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O'Meara
Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Goyette speaks to reporters during a press conference in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2017. Goyette has been named director of player development for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Most Read