221 Journalists were imprisoned last year

Sue-Valentine

Ms Sue Valentine, African Programme Coordinator of Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) has disclosed that 221 journalists were jailed around the world in 2014.

She made this known when briefing 10 African journalists on press freedom and journalist security tour at New York in the United States about the CPJ.

The tour was organised by Washington Foreign Press Centre and sponsored by the US Department of State. CPJ ensures the free flow of news and commentary by taking action whenever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, kidnapped, threatened, censored, harassed or killed.

She said according to the CPJ report in 2014, China is holding 44 journalists behind bars, which was the highest number CPJ has ever recorded in the country.

Ms Sue said 2014 has been the second worst year on record for journalists abuse, adding that one third of the jailed journalists around the world were freelance whilst 50 per cent of the imprisoned journalists worked on online.

She said of 132 charges made against- the journalists were anti –state and 45 were imprisoned with no charges, 36, charges were retaliatory, eight defamation and three were charged for insults.

Ms Sue mentioned China, Iran, Syria, Eritrea, Burma, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Turkey and China to be the worst jailers of journalists around the world.

She said the CPJ mission is to ensure that journalists are able to work freely and the circulation of ideas and information are not unimpeded.

CPJ promotes press freedom worldwide and defend the right of journalist to report issues without fear of reprisal, she added.

She advised journalist to carry out their work in a very professional manner by ensuring that whatever that they published or put on air was the truth so as to protect their credibility.

Source : GNA