José Rubén Zamora Marroquín, de journalist from Guatemala wen be de owner and president of elPeriódico newspaper, wey dem lock up on top say dem accuse am of stealing money and blackmail wen people believe say na revenge for de things wen him paper dey publish about Guatemala president and attorney general. (Reuters/Luis Echeverria)

Number of journalists wey don go jail don rise to new record for this world

De number of journalists dem wey don go jail for different places inside this world don break another record for inside 2022. Inside one year wey get many fight-fight and oppression, leaders wey like to use too much authority come increase de way wey dem take dey turn independent reporters to criminals, so tey dem dey bring more wicked ways to close de mouth of people wey fit talk against dem and to rubbish de freedom wey press get. 

 Dem publish am December 14, 2022

Na Arlene Getz wen be CPJ Editorial Director write am


Dis na another year wey de number of journalists dem wey go jail, sake of say dem dey do their work don break new record. De prison census wey de committee wen dey protect journalists (CPJ) dey release every year, show say dem deny 363 reporters of their freedom, as on December 1, 2022-Dis new record for de whole world take 20% pass last year own and e dey represent another bad situation for de downfall of de media environment. 

De five countries wey don jail journalists pass for this year na Iran, China, Myanmar, Turkey, and Belarus, as dem take follow demselves. One main reason why authoritarian government dey increase their oppression, to suppress media people: na because dem wan dey control de different disagreements for dis world wen COVID-19 don interrupt and de bad economic effect from de war wen Russia dey follow Ukraine fight. 

 For Iran, plenty journalists follow for about 14,000 Iran people wey dem arrest as dem dey catch people wey protests sake of say Mahsa Amini one Kurdish woman wey be 22-years-old, die for police prison after dem arrest her, say she break hijab law for Iran. Since September, de demonstration don spread everywhere for de country, and de people wey dey protest dey increase their struggle for de rights of women and dem wan make workers go on strike and make dem remove de government for Iran. De government don put plenty women journalists for prison. Out of de 49 journalists wen dem arrest since de protest start, 22 na women- dis na evidence of de obvious effort wen women dey put to report dis struggle wen women dey lead. 

The plenty harsh steps wey Iran dey take against protest for de country don make dat country to be de worst for all de countries wey put journalists for prison inside 2022. Plenty of dem dey prison for Tehran Evin (Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters)

For China, de government don tight cencus wey dem dey do online for de protest wey just happen on top government zero-COVID  policy for lockdown and news talk am say dem lock plenty journalists for prison, for some time, as de journalists try dey cover de protest. 

CPJ data touch light another matter: de oppression wey dey happen to people wen no plenty for one place.

For Iran, Kurds people don suffer pass for de hand of Iran government wey dey try revenge against de people wey dey protest, and dem don lock at least nine Kurdish journalists for prison. For Turkey, de government don arrest 25 Kurdish journalists wey dey work for either de Mezopotamya News Agency, de JINNEWS media house wey all de workers na women, or production companies wey dey make content wey Kurdish outlets dey use inside Europe. For Iraq, all de three journalists wey dey de census of dis year, na for Iraqi Kurdistan dem lock dem for prison. And for China, many of de journalists wey dem lock for prison  na Uighurs people wey come from Xinjiang, de place where dem been don accuse Beijing say dem dey commit crimes against human beings because of de plenty people wen dem lock for prison and de serious oppression wey dem dey show most of de Muslim people we dey for de region. 

Putting journalists for prison na just one small part of how leaders wey dey authoritarian dey try to spoil press freedom. For everywhere for dis world, governments dey bring new-new styles like “fake news” laws, dem dey use de one we dem call criminal defamation and laws wey get big-big words to turn journalism to crime; dem dey ignore de law wen suppose make everybody equal and dem dey rubbish our court system, and dem dey use technology take trace journalists and their families waka on top internet.

Inside countries wey start from Russia go reach Nicaragua to Afghanistan, dem don scatter media houses wey no be government own and de journalists dem don run go hide somewhere or dem don put fear for inside dem, so tey de journalists dey over check their report. And despite say de kind of suppression dey change from one country to another, de cases wen dey inside CPJ census show say all of dem na de same kind of official wickedness and revenge wen no make sense. 

Some, like China and Saudi Arabia, sabi leave journalists for prison even after de journalists don finish their sentence. Others dey do different types of wickedness. For Vietnam, for example, one journalist, Pham Doan Trang,  wey dem give nine-year sentence because dem say she distribute news wey dey against de country, dem come transfer her from Hanoi to one prison wen far pass 900 miles from where her family dey – Dem dey easily do dis kind thing so dat make no body fit visit de person wey dey prison.

For  Belarus, one journalist wey dey work for Belsat TV Katsiaryna Andreyeva, wen dey among plenty other journalists for inside prison because dem write about de protest wey people dey do for de country against de President Aleksandr Lukashenko, been don dey complete de two years sentence wey dem been give her, for prison; before one court come sentence her go another eight years for prison, on top de case wey dem accuse her say she “leak secrets of de state.”

For Turkey, the place wey de court of law give order say make dem try Hatice Duman again- even though she don do 20 years for the life sentence wey dem been give her– de journalist tell court for Istanbul dis month say officers for prison been don collect her court papers and her notes plenty weeks before de trial; this one mean say dem dey disrespect her right to prepare how she go take defend herself. (Before Duman been tell CPJ for interview say dem collect her personal property like her desk, book, dairy, and even plain paper wen dem come search the ward wey she dey.)

Other things to note be say:


#1: IRAN

De serious attack wey Iran dey attack people wen dey do mass protest after Amini die carry at least 62 journalists go prison as on December 1. De number for even plenty pass like that if dem been no release de 21 journalists wey dem been arrest, wen de demonstration start on bail before the census date reach.

The number of women among those wen dem lock never high like this before . When Iran been jail plenty journalist after the fight wey happen for de 2009 president election, de number high reach 47 journalist wey dem arrest for 2012 and na only four of dem be women.

But if you compare am, na 24 women dey inside this year census; and dem arrest 22 of dem after the protest start.

For all de arrests wen dem make dis year, people tell CPJ say e get one kind of early morning search wen dem dey do for reporters houses, where police go dey collect their phones and sometimes dem dey even beat dem de journalists wen dem carry dem go prison. Many times, their network dey disappear too. Plenty of their account on top social media – de main place wey dem dey publish information for de country where media houses dey under control of government – don disappear, either because government close am down or de journalist use fear delete am to save demselves from revenge wen fit follow de work wey dem dey do.

De 62 people wey dey prison na de highest number wey CPJ don document for Iran for de 30 years of de census, dis one pass de people wey dem arrest after de fight wey happen for dat country after de 2009 election. 

Jimmy Lai, de Hong Kong media businessman wen sabi promote democracy don dey prison since 2020 and dem fit sentence am to stay there for all him life through de security law wey dem dey use for dat country. 

De tight censorship  wey China put for their media and de fear to even talk for de country wey dey do plenty surveillance ontop their people dey make am hard to check and find out de exact number of journalists wey dey among those wen dem lock for their prison. Because of dat, de reduction wen we see for de number of journalists inside jail dis year, from 48 wen e been be for 2021 to 43 for 2022 – no suppose mean say de country don reduce how dem take no dey tolerate journalists wen no dey work for government.

Journalists for Uighur still dey part of those wey dem give wicked punishment on top charges wey no clear. For example, Omerjan Hasan, dey prison where dem give am 15 years sentence because he publish de history of Xinjiang region wey dem never confirm. Dem don lock Ilham Weli, Juret Haji, Mentimin Obul, and Mirkamil Ablimit since 2018 ontop de accusation say dem be two faced  people – Dis na de way wen government for China dey always categorise people wey dem believe say dem dey support government for public, but for back, dem no dey support government. De editor wey dem dey call Memetjan Abliz Boriyar, still dey prison since 2018, because dem accuse am sey him gree make dem release book wey government for China come ban later. Another thing we dey cause worry as e dey happen na say: Some student wey been work for Ilham Tohti, de man wen dem sentence to life in prison wey get Xinjiang news website, dey among those wey dem believe say dem don finish their time for prison – dem come carry dem go another place wey dem dey call “reeducation camp” instead make dem release dem.

For Hong Kong, dem don quiet every news house wey dey independent after Beijing begin punish people wey dey support democracy like Jimmy Lai wey be businessman for news house.  De way wey dem take treat Lai, wey dem lock for prison since December 2020, show say de government no get any respect again for how things suppose dey go and de “one country, two systems” arrangement wey dey make sure say Hong Kong legal system no dey depend on China. Lai wey be citizen for UK still dey prison wey dem guard well-well even after him don complete 20 month for prison ontop different charges. For December 10,  as Lai dey wait make dem start another trial wey fit make court send am to spend all him life for prison, through de wicked national security law, dem come sentence am go five years and nine months for offence wey relate to stealing of money – dis na in addition to de fact say de preparation wey him dey make for de security trial don dey affected as Hong Kong government no wan accept de court judgement for November say British Lawyer fit defend am

Some police officers with lawyers stay outside one court for Yangon where dem dey wait for one court case on March 12 dis year, about some journalists wey dem lock for prison as people dey protest against de military coup wey happen for Myanmar (Reuters/Stringer)

Myanmar jump go second position for de rank of worst countries wey put journalists for prison for de census wey CPJ do for last year, 2021, when de military coup for February remove de government wey de country elect and dem begin put blockade for how dem take dey report de new regime. As human right group wey dem dey call Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, take talk am, dat revenge cause make more than 2500 people die and more than 16,000 people enter prison ontop offence wey concern politics.

De number of journalists for Myanmar wey dem confirm say dem dey prison for December 1 increase reach 42 from de 30 wey e dey last year – as de regime dey try well-well to make reporters keep quiet and to disturb de small remaining media houses wey no dey work for government for de country. Many news houses no dey easily identify their workers wey dem lock for prison, so dat make dem no give dem de kind of difficult sentence wen dem dey give journalists.

Na for inside dis 2022 dem sentence almost half of those wey dey prison; most of de sentence come through de law wey dem call anti-state law wen dey give different types of punishment for offence wey dem call “Incitement” and “false news”.  For another case for November, dem sentence Myo San Soe wey be journalist go 15 year for prison ontop offence wey dem accuse her say she dey do terrorism because  she contact people wey dey insurgent group wey dey fight de regime. De group name na People’s Defence Forces.

Dem take dis picture from de video of one agency inside Mezopotamya wen dey show say dem dey carry one journalist go prison on October 25, dis year. 

De number of journalists wey dem lock for prison jump from 18 for 2021 go 40 for 2022 after dem arrest 25 Kurdish journalist for de second part of de year. De lawyer for de journalists tell CPJ say dem put all of dem for prison because dem suspect say dem be terrorists – dis na because of wetin de country dey currently do to make sure say dem silence everybody wey dem link with de Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) wey dem don ban

Even though dis year, de addition for de number of journalist wey dey prison no still reach de number of those wey dem lock after de coup wey dem try for 2016 wey fail, government still dey destroy independent media houses because dem dey close dem down, take over de media, and dem dey force plenty of de media people to escape from de country go hide or to leave their work.

Many people now dey fear say de people wey dem just arrest fit mean say government don begin dey attack journalists freedom as next year election dey come close, especially since de parliament for Turkey affirm de controversial media law wey talk say people must go prison if dem find out say dem dey spread news wey no be true. 

Katsiaryna Andreyeya, de Belarus journalist wey dem snap here, for inside de cage wey accused people dey stay for de court wey dey inside Minsk on February 18 2021, nearly complete de two years wey dem give her to stay prison wen another court come giver her another eight years, on top de offence wey dem accuse her, say she “give de secrete of de state out.”

For Belarus on December 1, dem get 26 journalist for prison –dis number increase from 19 people last year. Almost half of dem never get their sentence; two of them don dey serve their sentence of 10 years or more. All de offence na either because of revenge or against de government, like treason.

De arrest happen because of de wickedness wey Lukashenko dey show people wey dey report about de problem wey him get for de 2020 election. Inside de people wey still dey prison na Raman Pratasevich, de journalis wey him arrest lead to plenty complain from people everywhere for de world when de government for Belarus been divert de areophane wey suppose dey go through Lithuania to Minsk wey be Belarus capital where dem wan take lock am for prison.



De way wen dem take dey oppress media people for China, Myanmar and for Vietnam make Asia to be de continent wey get de biggest number of journalists dem wey dey prison – de total number na 119.

Vietnam, wey hold 21 people, no dey tolerate independent media house people; dem dey give hard sentences to any of dem wey dem convict ontop offence against government. For October, dem sentence  Le Manh Ha go eight years for prison, and dem still say 5 years of house arrest go follow dat one; for August dem sentence blogger Le Anh Hung go 5 years for prison because him “abuse him democratic freedom come infringe ontop de things wey concern de government, organizations and people”

Pham Doan Trang wey win CPJ International Press Freedom Award for 2022 dey among de people wey dey prison. Trang dey prison because of de sentence of nine years wey dem give am based on one law wey ban de sharing of any news wey dey against government.

India wey get seven journalist for prison still dey attract disapproval because of how dem dey treat journalist, especially de way de government dey use de Jammu and Kashmir Publish Safety Act, law wey dem dey use take detain people, to prevent make dem no commit another offence, to lock up Kashmir journalists Aasif Sultan, Fahad Shah, and Sajad Gul for prison after court don give dem bail for different cases

Afghanistan wey get three journalists for prison, enter CPJ census for de first time for 12 years.  Plenty Afghanistan journalists run comot from de country after Taliban take back control of de country for August 2021; de journalists wey remain sometimes dey face violent pressure to follow de strict ideas of de Taliban leaders.


De number of people wey dey prison no dey show de true-true picture of de regional freedom of journalists for sub Saharan Africa. Eritrea still be de worst country wey dey put journalists for prison; dem carry nine among every country for the world. Dem never still charge de 16 journalists wey dem don hold for prison since, and dem no even allow dem see their family or their lawyers since about 17 to 22 years.

Cameroon dey always show for de census since 2014. Na Cameroon be de second worse country wey dey put journalists for prison for dis region, with five people wey dem detain anyhow through judicial system wey don old and dem dey use military court to take do de trial of journalists wey be civilians according to international law

Last year Ethiopia  wey be de country wen dey second to Eritea as de worse country for de region wey dey put journalists for jail well-well, been get only one news person for prison during de time of de census dis year.  (dem release de news person, Nathaniel Gecho, for bail after de December 1 census date.) Even though, government from time-to-time don put more dan 60 journalists for prison – Many of dem dey prison for long time without any official charge – Since de civil war for Ethopia start for November 2020.  Misinformation and disinformation, dey follow de fight wey dey happen for ground, and another war ontop how to tell de story for social media. Dem dey hold at least five journalists for Mekelle de city wey Tigary rebel dey control. these journalists no dey inside CPJ census list because de people wey put dem for prison no be part of de state government, but their case dey show say e dey dangerous for journalists to dey report de crisis wey dey happen. 

 For Rwanda, three out of de four journalists wey dem put for prison publish deir work for You Tube – wen be one of de few places wey still remain for journalists to publish their work for de country, since the space to publish voices against government no dey again for de traditional media.  At least two of de people wey dey publish their work for YouTube; Aimable Karaasira and Dieudonne Niyonsenga (wey dem also call Hassan Cyuma), don face torture and bad treatment for prison according to wetin people talk. 


De number of journalists wey dem don put for prison, even though e no plenty – two for Nicaragua, one for Cuba, and one for Guatemala – dey show say journalists no too dey free everywhere for de region. De year 2022 dey very dangerous for journalists wey dey Mexico and Haiti, and plenty countries been pass law  wey introduce new options wey dem take dey  turn speech and reporting to crime. 

For Guatemala, de way wen dem take arrest Jose Ruben Zamora don make de journalists dem fear well-well, especially those once wey be investigative and independent reporters, as dem dey near de election wey go take place next year and with de crackdown wey dey happen to prosecutors, judges, and journalists wey been don reveal corruption cases. Zamora wey be de owner and president of elPeriodico, dey face charges wey dem accuse her say she steal money, blackmail, and one wen dem call influence pedding- charges wey people believe say na to punish dem for elPeriodico reporting about de allegation of corruption wey involve President Alejandro Giammattei and Attorney General Consuelo Porras. Elperiodico stop to dey publish their newspaper on December 1, because of de political and economic pressure wey dem say dem don dey get for 120 days. 

For Nicaragua, de attacks, arrest and fear of going to prison don force nearly all de journalists dem for dat country wen no dey work for government to either escape go hide somewhere or to leave their work completely. De same thing dey happen for Cuba 


Egypt and Saudi Arabia still dey among de first set of 10 countries wen lock plenty journalists dem for prison, as de two countries get 21 journalists and 11 journalists, each; wey dem lock for prison inside their countries.  

Because of de pressure wey America and de parliament for Europe dey give Egypt, on top of de bad-bad report about people rights wen Egypt dey deny dem, de country add journalists for de general people wey dem release from prisons this year, but dem no gree release others. One of de people wey dem no gree release na Editor Ahmed Fayez wey dem lock for prison because of him Facebook post wen him take talk say government dey force journalist, Alaa Abdelfattah to eat food, so dat him no go die for prison. 

 Despite de fact say de number of journalists wen dey prison for Egypt and Saudi Arebia drop small dis year, from 25 and 14, each, dem still dey oppress media people, and journalists for Saudia Arabia sef still dey face serious fear and intimidation, because of de journalist, Jamal Kashogi wen dem kill.

For Qatar, despite de fact say dis census no capture any journalist wen dey prison because of their work, the report wen journalists dey make about dis year World Cup don showcase de way de country dey censor journalists and de kind of hard laws wen dey media


For Russia, de new law wen dem take dey limit as person fit take narrate their war with Ukraine, like de law wen forbid make person call de fight war, don take over de remaining independent media people dem. Plenty journalists from Russia comot from de country make dem no lock dem for prison. Among de 19 journalists wen dey prison, many of dem dey face sentence wen reach 10 years, on top say dem accuse dem say dem dey spread “news wen fake” 

For de country wen dem dey call Tajiskistan, dem get six journalists for inside prison, na him make dat country dey lead among de countries for inside Central Asia wen lock journalists for prison. All de prisoners wey dem arrest because of de horrible attacks of government for de Gorno-Badakhshan part of Tajiskistan face secrete trial, inside de prison where dem dey. Dem no carry de journalists go court and dem sentence dem to spend plenty years inside prison, on top story wen dey go round say dem dey torture de journalists 

De country of Georgia wen dem know as country wen dey practice good democracy, come enter CPJ prison census for de first time dis year with Television Journalist wen dem dey call Nike Gyaramia wey don start de three and half years wen dem give her since May 2022. 

[Note from Editor: Dem correct de way wey de arrest for de Gorno-Badakhshan part of Tajiskistan take happen for de second to de last paragraph.]

Arlene Gets na editorial director for de committee we dey protect journalists. She dey New York now, but she been don do journalists work from Africa; from Europe, Asia and even from Middle East, where she work as person wen dey report on things wen happen abroad, as editor and as executive editor for Newsweek. Before she come join de committee wen dey protect journalists, she been work for Reuters, as de editor wen dey in charge of de section where dem dey do commentary about all de word.  


Dis prison census involve only de journalists wen government people put for prison and de people wen don disappear or wey be say na people wen no dey government detain dem, no dey inside dis census. Those ones dey under de category of “missing people” or people wen dem “kidnap.” 

CPJ dey describe journalists as people wen dey report news or people wen dey talk about government through any media, like newspaper, photo, radio and for internet. For inside CPJ prison census wen dem dey release every year, CPJ dey add de journalists wen dem dey sure say na because of their work dem dey prison. 

The list wen CPJ use capture those people wen dey inside prison around one minute after 12 in de midnight on December 1, 2022. No be all de journalist wen dem lock for prison for dis year dey inside; de information about those cases dey for CPJ dey put journalists for inside their list until dem don sure say de journalists don commot for prison or dem don die

De people wen report dis prison census na: Beh Lih Yi, Anna Brakha, Shawn Crispin, Doja Daoud, Sonali Dhawan, Assane Diagne, Jan-Albert Hootsen, Iris Hsu, Nick Lewis, Kunal Majumder, Sherif Mansour, Scott Mayemba, Attila Mong, Muthoki Mumo, Renata Neder, Özgür Ögret, Evelyn Okakwu, Angela Quintal, Waliullah Rahmani, Yeganeh Rezaian, Justin Shilad, Jonathan Rozen, Gulnoza Said, Natalie Southwick, and Dánae Vílchez

The people wey edit am na: Arlene Getz, Jennifer Dunham, Naomi Zeveloff, Erik Crouch, Sarah Spicer, Madeline Earp, Suzannah Gonzales, and Tom Barkley.