PARIS, FR — (12-16-21) — An alarming number of journalists are currently being detained worldwide, according to the annual report published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Thursday.

RSF reports that a total of 488 journalists and media workers were in prison in mid-December 2021, including 60 women, the highest ever on record. The number of journalists’ imprisoned in 2021 was 20% higher than 2020.

“The extremely high number of journalists in arbitrary detention is the work of three dictatorial regimes,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said in a statement released on Thursday. “It is a reflection of the reinforcement of dictatorial power worldwide, an accumulation of crises, and the lack of any scruples on the part of these regimes. It may also be the result of new geopolitical power relationships in which authoritarian regimes are not being subjected to enough pressure to curb their crackdowns.” said Deloire.

Three countries lead the surge in arbitrary detentions of journalists; Belarus, China and Myanmar. China was is ranked at the #1 jailer of journalists for the fifth year running,” said RSF.

In fact this is the first year where we have seen so many female journalists in prison. A total of 60 women have been detained in connection with their work, a 33% increase from last year. The highest number of detained female journalists are based in China.

On a brighter note, the number of journalists killed for their work in 2021 was recorded at 46, the lowest in two decades.

65% of the journalists killed in 2021 were deliberately targeted and killed, according to the RSF report, with Afghanistan and Mexico being listed as the “two deadliest countries” for journalists in 2021.

(Photo Courtesy of DW)

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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