The number of journalists jailed around the world for practising their profession has touched a record high, with 363 reporters deprived of their freedom as of December 1, 2022, according to the 2022 prison census released by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
About Prison Census 2022:
- This figure is a new global high that overtakes last year’s record by 20%.
- New ‘fake news’ laws, criminal defamation, and abuse of judiciary are also tactics used to clamp down on press freedom.
- This year’s top five jailers of journalists were Iran, China, Myanmar, Turkey, and Belarus, respectively.
- The report stated that a key driver behind authoritarian governments’ increasingly oppressive efforts to stifle the media was the intent “to keep the lid on broiling discontent in a world disrupted by COVID-19 and the economic fallout from Russia’s war on Ukraine”.
- India draw criticism over its use of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, a preventive detention law, to keep few Kashmiri journalists behind bars after they were granted court-ordered bail in separate cases”.
Repression of Minorities:
- The report noted that in Iran and Turkey – both classified as “worst offenders” – it was Kurdish journalists who bore the brunt of government crackdown.
- In China, too, another ‘worst offender’, many imprisoned journalists were Uighurs from Xinjiang.
The Committee to Protect Journalists:
- The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide.
- Its headquarters in New York City.
Q1) What is the Public Safety Act?
The Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978, of Jammu & Kashmir is an administrative detention law that allows arrest & detention of any individual without a warrant or specific charges for up to two years without a trial or charge. The Act was first promulgated in 1978 during the chief ministerial tenure of Sheikh Abdullah.
Source: The Hindu