250 Journalists Jailed Around The World In 2019, China Tops The List With 48
China imprisoned 48 journalists in 2019, topping the list of countries that imprisoned journalists around the world. The country overtook Turkey, which imprisoned around 47 journos.
In the data provided by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a total of 250 journalists have been imprisoned in their countries.
Out of the journalists jailed this year globally, 8% are women.
China’s Press Crackdown
China saw an increase in the number of journalists being imprisoned since President Xi Jinping started to consolidate political power in the country. A Reuters report stated that the crackdown in the Xinjiang province, where millions of the Uighur Muslims have been detained in concentration camps, has resulted in many journalists being jailed for carrying out journalistic activities.
A recent case was also reported by the CPJ where a freelance reporter, Sophia Huang Xueqin was arrested in October for writing about her experience when she participated in the pro-democracy march in Hong Kong.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying lashed out at the report stating that US-based institutions have no credibility. Not confirming the total number of journalists jailed, she told the publication that the rule of law prevails in the country and no one is above the law.
She also added, “You should feel lucky that you work in Beijing and not in Washington.”
Turkey came a close second to China with 47 reported arrests, dropping down from 68 last year. Among other countries that have jailed journalists, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (26), Eritrea (16), Vietnam (12) and Iran (11), making them most oppressive and dangerous countries for journalists.