The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.
This week, CPJ released its 2019 prison census, finding that China, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are the worst jailers of journalists worldwide. For the fourth consecutive year, at least 250 journalists are imprisoned globally. While the majority face anti-state charges, the number charged with “false news” rose to 30 compared with 28 last year. See more findings in this video.
CPJ will release two additional reports this month: “One Country, One Censor,” on Chinese influence in Hong Kong and Taiwan, will be published Monday December 16, and our annual report on journalists killed in relation to their work will be published on Wednesday, December 18.
CPJ’s prison census was accompanied by several blog posts:
- Iranian journalist imprisoned, fired, and forced into exile over a single word
- ‘I could be jailed at any moment’: Turkish editor in limbo over terms of prison release
- For the sake of press freedom, Julian Assange must be defended
- Nigeria and Ethiopia jail activist-journalists amid crackdown on free expression
Global press freedom updates:
- US-Nigerian Sahara Reporters website says assets frozen amid surveillance, censorship
- One journalist killed, another missing amid protests in Iraq
- Syrian Kurdish journalist Himbervan Kousa arrested at Kuala Lumpur airport
- Duterte threatens to shut down Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN
- Palestinian journalist Sameh al-Titi arrested by Israeli authorities, held without charge
In tandem with CPJ’s prison census, CPJ has been highlighting imprisoned journalists around the world through the #FreeThePress campaign. You can get involved by following and sharing stories from the @censoredpress Instagram account.
CPJ has also been collecting messages of support for Azimjon Askarov, a 2012 International Press Freedom Awardee who has spent nine years behind bars in Kyrgyzstan in connection to his reporting on human rights. Send him a digital message, and CPJ will deliver it to Askarov in prison.
What we are reading
- The story that haunted Don Bolles isn't the story most people think they know — Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic
- Lebanon’s journalists suffer abuse, threats covering unrest — Bassem Mroue, The Associated Press
- On Digital Disinformation and Democratic Myths — David Karpf, Mediawell
- US must act as journalists continue to be jailed in record numbers — Courtney Radsch, CPJ advocacy director, The Hill
- Democracy in Iraq Depends on Press Freedom — Ignacio Miguel Delgado Culebras, CPJ Middle East and North Africa representative, Foreign Policy
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