More than 500 professionals are in prison worldwide – Executive Digest

Dictatorship leaders are increasingly shutting down independent media outlets and arresting journalists – more than 520 professionals are currently detained worldwide, including a few dozen under house arrest, according to data from Reporter Without Borders. By the Journalist Advocacy Group as quoted by the publication 'Wall Street Journal'.

Many places that used to be bastions of the free press, like Hong Kong, are tightening restrictions on journalists: countries like Russia, which once tolerated some dissent, are imposing almost totalitarian limits on the free press, leaving only room for propaganda. . Many journalists are under threat of imprisonment or worse.

“It is difficult to work knowing that the newspaper can be closed at any moment and journalists can be arrested without trial,” revealed Oleg Roldukin, editor-in-chief of 'Sobesednik', one of Russia's last independent newspapers.

According to 'Reporters Without Borders', Russia is one of the most dangerous places to practice journalism today: almost three dozen journalists are in Russian prisons, which puts Moscow ahead of Saudi Arabia, Syria, China, Myanmar, Belarus, Israel and behind. Vietnam.

Israel has arrested the largest number of journalists in 2023, now at 35, after arresting dozens of reporters in the Palestinian territories following a Hamas attack on October 7. It is a very dangerous place for journalists: 83 people were killed in the Gaza Strip during the conflict. Mexico is the second deadliest country for journalists, with four deaths last year and 11 in 2022.

“The number of countries where press freedom has declined has more than tripled in the last decade,” said Marina Nord, a researcher at the V-Dem Institute, which tracks major changes in the treatment of journalists, censorship laws and other indicators of democratic values. “This is a worrying trend because attacks on media freedom are a strong indication that other democratic freedoms are at risk.”

See also  UK Boris Johnson's successor Liz Truss

The arrested journalists have been charged with various crimes including espionage, incitement, disinformation and terrorism.

The Kremlin has passed a series of laws in Ukraine that try to suppress opposition to its war. Many of the 34 journalists in Russian prisons are there for reporting on the conflict, Reporters Without Borders said. Russia has banned the use of the words “war” or “invasion” to describe what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The Kremlin's censorship laws forced most of the staff at Novaya Gazeta, Russia's most popular independent newspaper, into exile in Latvia in April 2022. The newspaper created a separate entity, Novaya Gazeta Europe, which Russia declared “undesirable”. Russians working there face fines or prison terms.

Moscow's censorship policies are echoed and amplified in other post-Soviet states. In Belarus, a close ally of Russia, 41 journalists are now being held on various charges, including defaming President Alexander Lukashenko or participating in an “extremist” group. In Kyrgyzstan, authorities arrested 11 journalists this year.

Protest movements in the Muslim world have led to strong crackdowns in recent years. Iran has arrested more than 70 journalists following the death of Mahza Amini in the custody of Iranian morality police.

Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, two journalists who were among the first to report Amini's death, were arrested in 2022 and charged with collaborating with the United States. Both denied the charges and were released on bail in January after 17 months in prison – 20 journalists are currently in jail in Iran, Reporters Without Borders reported.

See also  War in the Middle East. The evolution of the conflict between Israel and Hamas

China holds the largest number of journalists in its prisons – more than 100. Many were detained during Beijing's crackdown on Xinjiang province that began in 2014. Officials say the law is necessary to maintain public order after protests swept the territory in 2019, but critics say it is being used to silence independent journalism and political dissent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *