Nearly 350 journalists detained worldwide: RSF
KABUL (Pajhwok): Nearly 350 journalists are currently detained worldwide, 6% more, comparedwith this time last year, an international watchdog said on Tuesday.
The number of detained journalists in Turkey has risen 22% after quadrupling in the wake of the failed coup d’état in July, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.
In a statement, RSF said of the 348 journalists and media contributors, more than 100 were languishing in Turkish jails. The group claims a direct link between the arrest and the journalistic activities in 41 of these cases.
Hundreds of Turkish journalistshave been taken to court on charges of insulting the presidentor terrorism, with some jailed without any charges brought against them.
The three other biggest jailers of journalists are China, Iran and Egypt. They alone account for more than two-thirds of the world’s detained journalists.
RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said:“The persecution of journalists around the world is growing at a shocking rate. At the gateway to Europe, an all-out witch-hunt has jailed dozens of journalists and has turned Turkey into the world’s biggest prison for the media.”
In a year, Deloireadded, the Erdogan regime had crushed all media pluralism while the European Union had said virtually nothing.
A total of 52 journalists are currently held hostage. This year, all of them are in conflict zones in the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, Syria and Iraq are among the most dangerous countries, with Islamic State alone holding 21 of these hostages.
RSF called for the creation of the position of “Special Representative for the safety of journalists” directly attached to the office of the United Nations secretary-general. UN resolutions on protecting journalists and combatting impunity for crimes against them have yet to produce satisfactory results.
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