CPJ report of journalists

CPJ shared its annual report about journalist and announced that 274 journalists are behind bars as of December 1 around the world. 4 journalists arrested for breaking the story about the two villagers thrown from a military helicopter in the Çatak district of Van were mentioned in the report.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has released its 2020 annual report titled “Record number of journalists jailed worldwide.”

Published on December 15, 2020, the CPJ report prepared by Elana Beiser has commented that “the number of journalists jailed globally because of their work hit a new high in 2020 as governments cracked down on coverage of COVID-19 or tried to suppress reporting on political unrest.”

“Amid the pandemic, governments delayed trials, restricted visitors, and disregarded the increased health risk in prison; at least two journalists died after contracting the disease in custody,” the report has underlined, sharing briefly the following observations about Turkey:

TURKEY RANKS SECOND AFTER CHINA

“In its annual global survey, the Committee to Protect Journalists found at least 274 journalists in jail in relation to their work on December 1, 2020, exceeding the high of 272 in 2016.

“China, which arrested several journalists for their coverage of the pandemic, was the world’s worst jailer for the second year in a row.

“It was followed by Turkey, which continues to try journalists free on parole and arrest new ones; Egypt, which went to great lengths to keep custody of journalists not convicted of any crime; and Saudi Arabia.

“Countries where the number of jailed journalists rose significantly include Belarus, where mass protests have ensued over the disputed re-election of the long-time president, and Ethiopia, where political unrest has degenerated into armed conflict. This marks the fifth consecutive year that repressive governments have imprisoned at least 250 journalists.

TURKEY ARRESTS JOURNALIST, AND THEIR ATTORNEYS

“In Turkey, where every journalist jailed faces anti-state accusations, the number in prison has declined since a surge in 2016, a year that saw a failed coup attempt in July.

” As outlet shutdowns, takeovers by pro-government businesspeople, and judicial hostility have effectively eradicated mainstream media, Turkey has allowed more journalists to await trial outside prison.

“CPJ found 37 journalists imprisoned this year, less than half than in 2016, but authorities continue to arrest journalists — and their lawyers.

“Because of COVID-19, judicial proceedings were suspended for three months in 2020, prolonging prison for those in custody and anxiety for those free pending trial.

MESOPOTAMIA REPORTERS MENTIONED IN THE REPORT

“In the weeks leading up to CPJ’s census, Turkish authorities arrested at least three journalists working for pro-Kurdish outlet Mezopotamya News Agency for their critical coverage, including Cemil Uğur, who alleged in a story that military personnel detained and tortured two villagers and threw them from a helicopter; one later died. (Turkish officials said the civilians were injured resisting arrest).”