Turkey remains world’s worst jailer of journalists, CPJ report says

A journalist holds a placard reading "free media" during a demonstration for the World Press Freedom Day on the Istiklal avenue, in Istanbul, on May 3, 2017. According to the P24 press freedom website on April 4, 2017, there are 141 journalists behind bars in Turkey, most of whom were detained as part of the state of emergency imposed after the failed coup. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

According to a report released on Thursday by media freedom advocacy group the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Turkey remains the world’s worst jailer of journalists with at least 68 journalists behind bars due to their work.

The CPJ report found that a total of 251 journalists are jailed around the world.

The non-profit group stated that at least 68 journalists are currently jailed for their work in Turkey, which is slightly lower than previous years. However, when it comes to imprisoned journalists CPJ’s numbers are traditionally lower than other media advocacy groups due to differing methodologies. For instance, the Stockholm Center for Freedom, established by exiled Turkish journalists, reported that as of Dec. 7, 2018, 242 journalists and media workers were behind bars in Turkey, most in pretrial detention, giving their names and professional affiliation.

The CPJ report also noted that in the course of the year, dozens more have been jailed or released, as prosecutors continue to seek arrest warrants and apply new charges, and courts ordered some journalists released pending trial and acquitted others.

Due to a continuous crackdown on the media, the number of jailed, detained and exiled journalists varies frequently in Turkey.

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