Turkey remains the biggest jailer of journalists for the second year in a row, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday in reporting that the number of journalists jailed around the world hit a record high in 2017.
The organization, a nonprofit, nonpartisan activist group based in New York, said it had confirmed that 262 people were in government custody for reasons directly related to their work as journalists as of Dec. 1. That's three more that the previous record, set last year.
The author of the report, Elana Beiser, editorial director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, said the trend "reflects a dismal failure by the international community to address a global crisis in freedom of the press."
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More than half of the journalists listed are jailed in just three countries: Turkey, China and Egypt. Turkey accounts for 73 of them, or more than a quarter of all of the world's imprisoned journalists, according to CPJ.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., noted the report and said on Twitter that Trump "must understand his harmful rhetoric only empowers repressive regimes to jail reporters & silence the truth."
.@pressfreedom's annual report shows record # of journalists imprisoned worldwide in 2017, including 21 on "fake news" charges. @POTUS must understand his harmful rhetoric only empowers repressive regimes to jail reporters & silence the truth. https://t.co/S65iPnPBsN
Because the data are a snapshot from a census conducted on Dec. 1, CPJ's database doesn't include two Reuters journalists who were arrested this week in Myanmar and could face 14 years in prison for allegedly having violated the country's Official Secrets Act.