2014 Census: Ethiopia Again Ranks Among the Worst Jailers of Journalists in the World

Zone9 bloggers and Reeyot Alemu. (Photos: International Women's Media Foundation and Zone 9 Tumblr)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopia has once again earned the unflattering distinction of being one of the worst jailers of journalists in the world along with Eritrea, Iran, Egypt, Burma and China. The 2014 Census of Imprisoned Journalists released today by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found that the number of journalists imprisoned in Ethiopia more than doubled since the previous year.

Overall CPJ said it identified 220 incarcerated journalists globally in 2014. “Worldwide, 132 journalists, or 60 percent, were jailed on anti-state charges such as subversion or terrorism,” the report said. “Online journalists accounted for more than half, or 119, of the imprisoned journalists. Eighty three worked in print, 15 in radio, and 14 in television.” The annual census shows “roughly one-third, or 67, of the journalists in jail around the world were freelancers, around the same proportion as in 2013.”

In Ethiopia, the survey points out that “a state crackdown on independent publications and bloggers this year more than doubled the number of journalists imprisoned to 17 from seven the previous year, and prompted several journalists to flee into exile.”

Next to China, with 44 journalists in prison, “the list of the top 10 worst jailers of journalists was rounded out by Eritrea, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Syria, Egypt, Burma, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. CPJ notes that the tally marks the second highest number of journalists in jail since the independent free-press advocacy organization began taking a yearly census of imprisoned journalists in the early 1990s.

You can read the full report at CPJ.org.

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