DW News published this video item, entitled “Press freedom index: Journalists jailed for COVID reporting | DW News” – below is their description.
At least 387 people working in the media industry around the world had been imprisoned by December 1 of this year, the German office of the press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced in its annual report on Monday. Five countries were responsible for over half of all convictions: China led the pack with 117 jailed journalists, followed by Saudi Arabia (34), Egypt (30), Vietnam (28) and Syria (27). While the majority of imprisoned press workers were still men, the number of women arrested in 2020 increased by a third to 42.
Since the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic early in the year, over 130 members of the press, be they journalists or otherwise, have been arrested for reporting on the crisis. Some 14 of those were still in jail at the time of the report’s publication, said the report. Reporters Without Borders gave particular attention to Belarus, where at least 370 journalists have been arrested in the wake of the contested presidential election on August 9. Although most of those were released after a short period, the crackdown on journalists represents a reduction in press freedom.
The report also highlighted the detention of the Australian WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently in Belmarsh high-security prison in the UK. RSF claimed that the conditions had become much worse following a coronavirus outbreak in the prison and that Assange had been placed in de facto isolation. The report expressed concern for the health of those imprisoned journalists who have not received proper medical attention during the pandemic and who have been subjected to the psychological effects of increased isolation. Five journalists were facing death sentences as of December 1, one of whom — Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam — was executed on December 12. The other four were in the custody of the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
RSF counted 54 media workers who had been kidnapped in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; some of them have not been heard from in years. Another four journalists disappeared under unexplained circumstances in 2020 — one in Iraq, one in Congo, one in Mozambique and one in Peru. The NGO began issuing its yearly report in 1995. It includes cases of journalists and other professionals working in the field of journalism. The compilers only include data if it can be carefully confirmed, which sometimes leads to certain countries, such as Turkey, showing lower numbers than reported elsewhere.
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Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus and formerly known as Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk.
China is the third largest country in the world by area and the largest country in the world by population. Properly known as the People’s Republic of China, the political territory of the country includes the former nations of Tibet and Hong Kong. The capital is Beijing.
Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza’s colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor’s hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs.
The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks like Muhammad Ali Mosque and the Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities.
Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Disputes over the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region continue.
Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.
Mozambique is a southern African nation whose long Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with popular beaches like Tofo, as well as offshore marine parks. In the Quirimbas Archipelago, a 250km stretch of coral islands, mangrove-covered Ibo Island has colonial-era ruins surviving from a period of Portuguese rule. The Bazaruto Archipelago farther south has reefs which protect rare marine life including dugongs.
Peru is a country in South America that’s home to a section of Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city high in the Andes mountains. The region around Machu Picchu, including the Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and colonial city of Cusco, is rich in archaeological sites. On Peru’s arid Pacific coast is Lima, the capital, with a preserved colonial center and important collections of pre-Columbian art.