10 Most Censored Countries

The list addresses only those countries where the government tightly controls the media. The conditions for journalists and press freedom in states such as Syria, Yemen, and Somalia are also extremely difficult, but not necessarily attributable solely to government censorship. Rather, factors like violent conflict, insufficient infrastructure, and the role of non-state actors create conditions that are dangerous for…

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Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo is led handcuffed from a court in Yangon in September. He and colleague Wa Lone are serving seven-year prison sentences in Myanmar. (Reuters/Ann Wang)

Hundreds of journalists jailed globally becomes the new normal

For the third year in a row, 251 or more journalists are jailed around the world, suggesting the authoritarian approach to critical news coverage is more than a temporary spike. China, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia imprisoned more journalists than last year, and Turkey remained the world’s worst jailer. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

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On the table: Why now is the time to sway Rouhani to meet his promises for press freedom in Iran

President Hassan Rouhani sought re-election on the promise of a more open Iran. But little has changed for the press, as hardliners in the judiciary and other powerful institutions jail journalists, block websites, and maintain a climate of fear with harassment and surveillance. The current international focus on Iran and its economic ties with Europe…

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On the table

About This ReportThis report was written by CPJ Iran Consultant Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani, based in Seattle, Washington. CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour contributed reporting and research.

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On the table

Why now is the time to sway Rouhani to meet his promises for press freedom in Iran President Hassan Rouhani came to power in 2013 on a platform of pledges to roll back the repressive policies of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who decimated Iran’s once vibrant media. Rouhani, seeking to create space for political reform…

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On the table

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Journalists and protesters hold placards outside an Istanbul court on October 31, 2017, calling for the release of jailed colleagues, including Turkish reporter Ahmet Şık. Turkey is the worst jailer of journalists in 2017. (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Record number of journalists jailed as Turkey, China, Egypt pay scant price for repression

For the second year in a row, the number of journalists imprisoned for their work hit a historical high, as the U.S. and other Western powers failed to pressure the world’s worst jailers–Turkey, China, and Egypt–into improving the bleak climate for press freedom. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

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Turkey’s crackdown propels number of journalists in jail worldwide to record high

At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, all of them facing anti-state charges, in the wake of an unprecedented crackdown that has included the shuttering of more than 100 news outlets. The 259 journalists in jail worldwide is the highest number recorded since 1990. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

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China, Egypt imprison record numbers of journalists

Egypt is second only to China as the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2015. Worldwide, the number of journalists behind bars for their work declined moderately during the year, but a handful of countries continue to use systematic imprisonment to silence criticism. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

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Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhauqe, better known as Zunar, poses in prison clothes with plastic handcuffs at a February 2, 2015, event launching a book in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. (AP)

Drawing the line: Cartoonists under threat

On January 7, two gunmen burst into the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing eight journalists and bringing into focus the risks cartoonists face. But with the ability of their work to transcend borders and languages, and to simplify complex political situations, the threats faced by cartoonists around the world—who are being imprisoned,…

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