There are currently 488 media professionals imprisoned around the world, the highest number since Reporters Without Borders began counting more than 25 years ago, the NGO announced on Thursday.
By contrast, the number killed this year — 46 — was the lowest since it began issuing annual tallies, due to the relative stabilisation of conflicts in the West Asia.
China jails 127 scribes
China once again has the highest number of imprisoned journalists at 127, said RSF. The most dangerous countries were once again Mexico and Afghanistan, with seven and six journalist deaths respectively, followed by Yemen and India with four apiece.
“The number of journalists detained in connection with their work has never been this high since RSF began publishing its annual round-up in 1995,” the NGO, which battles for freedom of the press, said in a statement.
The number of detained scribes has risen by some 20% over the past year, largely due to crackdowns on the media in Myanmar, Belarus and Hong Kong. RSF said it had also never seen so many female journalists detained, with the overall number of 60 representing a third more than 2020.
Most of the 46 killings were assassinations: “65 percent were deliberately targeted and eliminated,” the report said.