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Europe & Central Asia

Video: CPJ Risk List

From Russia, where repressive laws are taking effect, to Turkey, where dozens of journalists are jailed, here are the 10 countries where press freedom suffered the most in 2012.


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Europe & Central Asia

Jailings by Charge in 2012 *

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48 Anti-state charges
12 Retaliatory charges
2 Censorship violations
1 Defamation
1 No charges disclosed

* Based on Dec. 1, 2012, census

Regional Data


Journalist Killed in 2012


Journalists in Exile, 2007-12


Journalists Killed Since 1992


Imprisoned on December 1, 2012


Unsolved Journalist Murders Since 1992


Missing as of December 31, 2012

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9 Imprisoned on December 1, a sharp rise from the previous year. State cracks down as it hosts Eurovision song contest.

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10th Most censored country, CPJ finds. Politicized prosecutions, raids, and travel bans are used against critics.

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5 Major legal attacks against news outlets are waged in 2012, from lawsuits to subpoenas.
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315 European Parliament votes condemning repressive media law.

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5 Serious assaults. One victim was stabbed after criticizing the government's violent response to the Zhanaozen labor dispute.
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7 Human rights defenders and groups seeking the release of jailed reporter Azimjon Askarov.

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9th Impunity Index ranking, reflecting a poor record in combating anti-press violence.
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16 News websites blocked, including prominent domestic and international sites.

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49 Imprisoned on December 1, making Turkey the world's worst jailer of the press.
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60 Anti-press abuses reported in September alone as tensions rose with the approaching parliamentary election.

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United Kingdom

1,987 Pages in the Leveson report, which called for a press regulator backed by statute.
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6th Most censored nation, CPJ finds. No independent news media operate domestically.

Country reports in this chapter were researched and written by Nina Ognianova, CPJ's Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, along with CPJ Research Associate Muzaffar Suleymanov, CPJ's Brussels-based senior adviser, Jean-Paul Marthoz, and CPJ's U.K.-based consultant, Elisabeth Witchel.

Slideshow: Year in Photos

Slideshow: Year in Photos