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China the world number one in imprisoned journalists (report)

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — China has imprisoned at least 48 journalists in 2019, bypassing any other country and replacing Turkey as the most repressive place in the profession, a report released on Wednesday said.

The annual report of the New York-based committee stated that at least 250 journalists were imprisoned around the world this year, compared to 255 last year.

The number increased by one in China from last year. The report noted that “the number has been increasing steadily since President Xi Jinping strengthened political control of the country.”

“A campaign in Xinjiang, where one million children of Muslim ethnic groups were placed in detention camps, led to the arrest of dozens of journalists, some of whom were apparently imprisoned for years of journalistic activity,” he added.

The report indicated that the following most repressive countries for journalists include Turkey, which imprisoned 47 journalists in 2019, compared to 68 last year, followed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and each imprisoned 26 journalists. The number of journalists imprisoned in Eritrea was 16, in Vietnam 12, and in Iran 11 journalists.

The report stated that “tyranny, instability and protests” this year were factors that led to an increase in the number of journalists imprisoned in the Middle East.

The report said that women account for about eight percent of the prisoners worldwide, down from 13 percent last year, adding that politics, human rights and corruption are among the issues that have caused the imprisonment of journalists.

The commission noted that its report sheds light on journalists imprisoned on December 1 annually, and does not include those who have been released before or who have been detained by unofficial entities such as militant groups.

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