In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on all governments to release all journalists from their prisons. On behalf of more than 250 journalists behind bars, we call on authorities to free these political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.
For journalists jailed in countries affected by the virus, freedom is now a matter of life and death. Imprisoned journalists have no control over their surroundings, cannot choose to isolate, and are often denied necessary medical care.
The World Health Organization states that “People deprived of their liberty, and those living or working in enclosed environments in their close proximity, are likely to be more vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease than the general population.”
Journalism must not carry a death sentence. That’s why today we launch #FreeThePress, a campaign calling for the release of every journalist behind bars now.
We ask all world leaders to protect the free press and the free flow of information at this crucial time.