Africa News, Culture And Rankings

Egypt and Eritrea ‘Among Worst Jailers of journalists’ in the World

In its annual global survey, the Committee to Protect Journalists found Egypt and Eritrea to be ‘among worst jailers of journalists’.

Egypt and Eritrea to be 'among worst jailers of journalists'
At least 26 journalists are detained in Egypt, and many suffer health consequences in jail

The number of journalists imprisoned globally for their work in 2019 remained near record highs.

In its annual global survey, the Committee to Protect Journalists found at least 250 journalists in jail in relation to their work, compared with an adjusted 255 a year earlier. The highest number of journalists imprisoned in any year since CPJ began keeping track is 273 in 2016. After China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, the worst jailers are Eritrea, Vietnam, and Iran.

While the majority of journalists imprisoned worldwide face anti-state charges, in line with recent years, the number charged with “false news” rose to 30 compared with 28 last year. Use of the charge, which the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi applies most prolifically, has climbed steeply since 2012, when CPJ found only one journalist worldwide facing the allegation.

The list also revealed Egypt and Eritrea to be ‘among worst jailers of journalists’

Egypt, Eritrea and Cameroon are among the worst nations in the world for jailing journalists, a list published on Wednesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said.

The CPJ listed 26 journalists jailed in Egypt – most of whom it says are grouped in mass trials and charged with both terror offenses and false news.

“Compared to a year ago, the censorship feels tighter, the control of the information … is higher,” Sophie Anmuth, a Paris-based researcher with the Middle East desk at Reporters without Borders (RSF), told Al Jazeera.

Specifically, several of the new arrests in Egypt came ahead of protests against army corruption on 19 September, which included calls for President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to resign, said the CPJ.

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The Africa programs co-ordinator for the CPJ tweeted that Eritrea topped the list of most journalists jailed in sub-Saharan countries, with 16.

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