(photo credit: CPJ)
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) slammed Turkey and Iran for imprisoning far more journalists than any other country in the world, according to the group's 2012 prison census published Tuesday. The group also chastised Israel for imprisoning three Palestinian journalists, two of whom were held on administrative detention conditions.
Turkey's total of 49 imprisonments and Iran's total of 45 helped push the global tally to its highest point (232 journalists behind bars) since the New York-based CPJ began conducting the survey in the 1990s. Both countries "made extensive use of vague anti-state laws to silence dissenting political views, including those expressed by ethnic minorities."
Next highest on the list was China, with a total of 32 detentions, and Eritrea with 28. Syria (15), Vietnam (14), Azerbaijan (9), Ethiopia (6), Uzbekistan (4) and Saudi Arabia (4) rounded out the top ten.
Turning to Israel, the report specified the detentions of Amer Abu Arafa, Sharif Alrjoub and Mohammed Atallah al-Tamimi. Under the headline "Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories," the report stated that Israel arrested Abu Arafa in August 2011, and have held him since under administrative detention procedures. His detention was most recently extended in October 2012, with not formal charges having been filed by late 2012.
Israeli security forces in June 2012 also arrested Alrjoub, a Hebron-based correspondent for Al-Aqsa Radio. He, too has been held without charge, according to the report.
The last Palestinian reporter named in the CPJ report was Tamimi, whom the IDF allegedly arrested in October 2012. Tamimi was sentenced to three-months in prison and a NIS 3,000 fine for "participating in illegal protests," according to the reporter's family-owned press agency.
Apart from Israel, Italy was the only Western country listed as having detained a journalist.