Journalist imprisonments reach 30-year high

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The number of journalists jailed around the world set yet another record this year, with 363 imprisoned as of December 1, 2022, according to CPJ’s 2022 prison census.

This is the highest number CPJ has recorded in the 30-year history of the census, overtaking last year’s record by 20%. The notable increase, led by a spike in journalist jailings in Iran and sustained repression in China, marks another grim milestone as authoritarian leaders doubled down on their criminalization of independent reporting.

This year’s top five jailers of journalists are Iran, China, Myanmar, Turkey, and Belarus, respectively. After a 12-year hiatus, Afghanistan returns to CPJ’s census with three imprisoned journalists, as perilous reporting conditions predominate since the return of the Taliban regime. Georgia, an emerging democracy with a mixed press freedom record, which is increasingly home to exiled journalists from elsewhere in the region, is listed in the census for the first time.

Read: The full analysis, including regional highlights

Explore: CPJ’s interactive map of imprisonments

Deep dive: Explore each jailed journalist’s story in our database of imprisoned journalists

Census analyses:

Global press freedom updates

  • CPJ joins call urging U.S. Senate to advance the PRESS Act
  • CPJ joins letter calling on incoming Brazilian government to address press freedom concerns
  • CPJ condemns Jimmy Lai jail sentence in Hong Kong fraud case
  • Myanmar journalist Sithu Aung Myint sentenced to additional seven years in prison
  • Rappler contributor Frank Cimatu convicted of cyber libel in the Philippines
  • CPJ joins call for Somali authorities to drop all charges against journalist Abdalle Ahmed Mumin
  • Tajikistan authorities sentence two journalists to lengthy prison terms
  • Belarusian authorities revoke registration of Belarusy y Rynok newspaper, detain former Belsat TV contributor Larysa Shchyrakova on undisclosed charges
  • Russian journalist Valery Badmayev charged with “discrediting” the army
  • Latvian regulator cancels broadcasting permit for exiled Russian broadcaster Dozhd TV
  • French intelligence agency summons three journalists for questioning


Since Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, the platform has faced mass layoffs and a series of challenges. This week, the company’s Trust and Safety Council, an advisory group comprised of civil society organizations and other experts, of which CPJ was a longstanding member, was dissolved.

CPJ expressed deep concern about this move, which will abolish a longstanding engagement mechanism to mitigate potential harm to Twitter users, including journalists.

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