2022 Prison Census: Number of journalists jailed has reached record high: CPJ report

Source: The post is based on the article “Number of journalists jailed has reached record high: CPJ report” published in The Hindu on 15th December 2022

What is the News?

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has released a report titled “2022 Prison Census”.

Note: The Committee to Protect Journalists(CPJ) is an American independent non-profit, non-governmental organization based in New York with correspondents around the world.CPJ promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists.

What are the key findings of the report?

Journalists Jailed: The number of journalists jailed around the world for practising their profession has touched a record high with 363 reporters deprived of their freedom as of December 1, 2022. This figure is a new global high that overtakes last year’s record by 20%.

Countries with the most journalists jailed: The top five jailers of journalists were Iran, China, Myanmar, Turkey, and Belarus respectively. 

Reason for jailing Journalists: The key driver behind authoritarian governments’ increasingly oppressive efforts to stifle the media was the intent to keep the lid on broiling discontent in a world disrupted by COVID-19 and the economic fallout from Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Repression of Minorities: In Iran and Turkey – both classified as “worst offenders” – it was Kurdish journalists who bore the brunt of the government crackdown. In China, too, many imprisoned journalists were Uighurs from Xinjiang.

What does the report say about India?

India continues to draw criticism over its treatment of the media, in particular for the use of the preventive detention law, the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act(PSA). This law has been used to keep Kashmiri journalists behind bars after they were granted court-ordered bail in separate cases.

Moreover, six out of the seven jailed journalists are being investigated under or charged under the anti-terrorism law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Of these seven journalists, three have been in jail for more than a year.

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