China, which has arrested a number of journalists for his or her protection of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the world’s worst jailer for the second yr in a row. In line with a annual world survey by the journalists Committee to Defend Journalists (CPJ), an impartial press freedom advocacy organisation, a minimum of 274 journalists have been jailed on December 1, exceeding the excessive of 272 in 2016.
“China, which arrested a number of journalists for his or her protection of the pandemic, was the world’s worst jailer for the second yr in a row. It was adopted by Turkey, which continues to strive journalists free on parole and arrest new ones; Egypt, which went to nice lengths to maintain custody of journalists not convicted of any crime; and Saudi Arabia,” the report highlighted.
The CPJ has identified that a lot of 47 prisoners in China are serving lengthy sentences or are jailed within the Xinjiang “with none cost disclosed”.
It additional famous that at a time when the coronavirus rampaged Wuhan, Beijing arrested a number of journalists for protection that went in opposition to the official narrative.
“The three nonetheless jailed on December 1 embody impartial video journalist Zhang Zhan, who started posting stories from Wuhan on Twitter and YouTube in early February and was arrested on Might 14. Her movies embody interviews with native enterprise homeowners and employees on the impression of COVID-19 and the federal government’s response to it,” the CPJ mentioned.
Zhang Zhan was considered one of a number of journalists in CPJ’s world census who relied closely on social media as all different media retailers are closely censored or managed by the state.
“Her movies are possible nonetheless out there to a world viewers as a result of they’re hosted by firms exterior China. However CPJ discovered that related content material produced by others who had been later jailed had been taken down for causes that weren’t clear, hindering analysis and underscoring longstanding issues about transparency by world tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Fb,” the CPJ mentioned.
The report additional acknowledged that in China, diplomatic spats appeared placing the international media in elevated peril. Throughout this yr, over a dozen journalists working for the US publications in China had been expelled.
“Australian citizen Cheng Lei, a enterprise information anchor for state-run broadcaster China World Tv Community, was arrested in August for allegedly endangering nationwide safety amid rigidity between China and Australia, making her the second Australian journalist in custody after blogger Yang Hengjun, who has been held on espionage prices since January 2019,” the report highlighted.
It additional mentioned that the nations the place the variety of jailed journalists rose considerably embody Belarus, the place mass anti-government protests ensued as a result of disputed re-election of the long-time president, and Ethiopia, the place political unrest has degenerated into armed battle.
(With ANI inputs)