Eritrea shamed by media rights watchdog

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – New York based media rights watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Tuesday that Eritrea tops the list of African countries that jail journalists for their work.

Worldwide, Eritrea ranks fourth, based on CPJ’s annual count, which also singles out countries such as the United States and Iran, the watchdog said.

“On December 1, a total of 25 journalists were imprisoned in Sub-Saharan Africa in retaliation for their journalism, and nearly 90 percent were detained without charges in secret detention facilities,” CPJ said.

“With at least 19 journalists behind bars, Eritrea by far leads the list of shame of African nations that imprison journalists.”

“The Eritrean government has refused to confirm if the detainees are still alive, even when unconfirmed online reports suggest that three journalists have died in detention,” CPJ said.

Eritrea’s neighbour Ethiopia comes second with “four journalists held …, including two Eritrean journalists who are detained in secret locations without any formal charges or legal proceedings since late 2006″.

Globally, China, Iran and Cuba come top of the CPJ list.

“Worldwide, a total of 136 reporters, editors, and photojournalists were behind bars, an increase of 11 from the 2008 tally. The survey also found that freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed across the globe.

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Posted by on Dec 9 2009 Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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