DHARAMSALA, Dec 15: China is among the world’s leading jailer of journalists according to the Committee to Protect Journalists’(CPJ) 2018 annual prison census.
Globally, 251 or more journalists are reported to be behind bars and Turkey, China, and Egypt were responsible for more than half of those jailed around the world for the third year in a row.
Further, China along with Egypt and Saudi Arabia were among the nations that jailed more journalists in 2018 than in 2017.
With 47 journalists jailed in 2018, the CPJ report said that it reflects the latest wave of persecution of the Uighur ethnic minority in the East Turkistan.
An increase in the overall number of journalists jailed in China this year is the result in part of Beijing’s persecution of the Uighur ethnic minority, the report noted.
“At least 10 journalists in China were detained without charges, all of them in Xinjiang, where the United Nations has accused Beijing of mass surveillance and detention of up to a million people without trial,” the CPJ report said.
In the highest-profile example, Lu Guang, a freelance photographer and U.S. resident whose work on environmental and social issues in China has won awards from the World Press Photo Foundation and National Geographic, disappeared in Xinjiang in early November, the report said where an estimated 1 million Muslim Uyghurs are reportedly being held in state-controlled “re-education camps.”
“The continued climb in the number of detentions worldwide suggests that “the authoritarian approach to critical news coverage is more than a temporary spike,” China digital times quoted CPJ’s Elana Beiser as saying in its report.
The majority of those imprisoned globally are facing anti-state charges such as belonging to or aiding groups deemed by authorities as terrorist organizations, the report said.