Home News Record of journalists imprisoned in 2022 according to RSF, China and Iran in question

Record of journalists imprisoned in 2022 according to RSF, China and Iran in question

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The number of journalists imprisoned around the world has reached a new record in 2022: they are 533, or 45 more than last year (488), when we already recorded a historic level, according to the annual report of RSF published this Wednesday, December 14.

The number of journalists killed (57) is also on the rise, in particular because of the war in Ukraine, when it was “historically low” in 2021 (48) and 2020 (50). More than half of the journalists imprisoned in the world on December 1 are in 5 countries: China (110), Burma (62), Iran (47), Vietnam (39) and Belarus (31). Iran is the only country that was not part of this “dark track record” last year, underlines the NGO, which has held this annual report since 1995.

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The Islamic Republic has in fact imprisoned a number of media professionals ” unprecedented “ in twenty years since the beginning of the protest movement which broke out in September. 34 new journalists have joined the 13 who were already locked up before the protests began.

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78 female journalists imprisoned

Within this overall global assessment, RSF notes an unprecedented number of women journalists imprisoned: they are 78 (compared to 60 last year), which is partly explained by “the growing feminization of the profession”. “Female journalists now represent almost 15% of detainees, compared to less than 7% five years ago”according to RSF.

This is for example the case of the Iranians Nilufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, “who had helped draw attention to the death of the young Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini” and “now risk the death penalty”.

The protests rocking Iran were sparked by the September 16 death of the 22-year-old, after she was arrested by vice squad for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

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In total, “Iran alone detains 18 female journalists”15 of whom have been jailed since the protests began. “This high number of journalists detained shows the Iranian authorities’ desire to systematically silence women’s voices”says RSF.

The NGO awarded on Monday its “Prize of Courage” to one of these Iranian female journalists, Narges Mohammadi, who “only spent a few months out of prison” since 2011.

80% of journalists knowingly killed

“Dictatorial and authoritarian regimes are accelerating the filling of their prisons by incarcerating journalists”denounced Christophe Deloire, secretary general of RSF.

Men and women combined, two regions of the world concentrate three quarters of prisoners: “nearly 45% of journalists are detained in Asia and more than 30% in the Maghreb and the Middle East”.

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RSF also points to the fact that “repression has increased sharply in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February”.

“Of the 8 journalists killed since the start of the Ukrainian conflict, 5 were foreign reporters”.

According to the NGO, “nearly 80% of media professionals killed in 2022 were knowingly targeted because of their profession and the topics they were working on”as “organized crime and corruption”.

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