Analyses and data track press freedom conditions. Elisabeth Witchel recounts a mother’s anguished pursuit of justice in Russia. Nina Ognianova and Kristin Jones examine the implications of repressive nations hosting the Olympics. And Jean-Paul Marthoz reveals the censorship imposed by religious extremists.

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.


Tarnishing the Olympic Image

Countries hosting the Olympics assume global obligations. What if they renege?

A Mother Seeks Justice in Russia

Her son’s murder unsolved, Rimma Maksimova pursues a landmark case.

Editors think twice, reporters do not dig deeply, columnists choose words carefully.


Beyond Article 19

The right to news and opinion is enshrined in international law. It’s not enough.

Europe & Central Asia

Jailings by Charge in 2012 *

You need to upgrade your Flash Player
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

country page »


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

country page »


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

country page »


5 Major legal attacks against news outlets are waged in 2012, from lawsuits to subpoenas.
country page »


315 European Parliament votes condemning repressive media law.

country page »


5 Serious assaults. One victim was stabbed after criticizing the government’s violent response to the Zhanaozen labor dispute.
country page »


7 Human rights defenders and groups seeking the release of jailed reporter Azimjon Askarov.

country page »


9th Impunity Index ranking, reflecting a poor record in combating anti-press violence.
country page »


16 News websites blocked, including prominent domestic and international sites.

country page »


49 Imprisoned on December 1, making Turkey the world’s worst jailer of the press.
country page »


60 Anti-press abuses reported in September alone as tensions rose with the approaching parliamentary election.

country page »

United Kingdom

1,987 Pages in the Leveson report, which called for a press regulator backed by statute.
country page »


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.

Other Languages


Book Cover Support CPJ: Purchase a copy of Attacks on the Press: 2013 Edition

Slideshow: Year in Photos

Slideshow: Year in Photos