Iran has imprisoned journalists with a vengeance since the protests that rocked the country began in September, and more broadly, the number of media professionals detained around the world reached a record high in 2022, according to the annual report of RSF.
On the whole planet, they are 533, that is to say about forty more than last year on the same date (488), when we already recorded a historic level of journalists imprisoned, according to Reporters Without Borders.
More than half are detained in only 5 countries: China, which remains "
the largest prison for journalists in the world
" (110), Burma (62), Iran (47), Vietnam (39) and Belarus (31).
Iran is the only country that was not part of this "
" last year, underlines the NGO for the defense of press freedom, which has kept this annual report since 1995.
“Accelerated filling” of prisons
The Islamic Republic has in fact imprisoned an " unprecedented
" number of media professionals
in the 20 years since the start of the protest movement which erupted in September.
Thirty-four new journalists have joined the thirteen who were already locked up before the protests began.
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Dictatorial and authoritarian regimes are filling their prisons faster by imprisoning journalists
,” denounced Christophe Deloire, secretary general of RSF.
Within this overall global report, RSF notes an unprecedented number of women journalists imprisoned: they are 78 (compared to 60 last year), which is partly explained by “
the growing feminization of the profession
Female journalists now represent nearly 15% of detainees, compared to less than 7% five years ago
,” according to RSF.
Deaths on the rise
This is for example the case of the Iranians Nilufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, "
who had helped to draw attention to the death of the young Iranian Kurd
" and "
now risk the death penalty
The protests rocking Iran were sparked by the September 16 death of the 22-year-old, after she was arrested by vice squad for violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code.
In total, "
Iran alone detains 18 women journalists
", 15 of whom have been imprisoned since the start of the protests.
This high number of journalists detained shows the Iranian authorities' desire to systematically silence women's voices
," RSF said.
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The NGO awarded its "
" on Monday to one of these Iranian women journalists, Narges Mohammadi, who "
has only spent a few months out of prison
" since 2011.
Number of journalists killed on the rise
Men and women combined, two regions of the world concentrate three quarters of prisoners: "
nearly 45% of journalists are detained in Asia and more than 30% are in the Maghreb and the Middle East
RSF also points to the fact that “
repression has increased sharply in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February
In addition, the number of journalists killed (57) is also on the rise, in particular because of the war in Ukraine, whereas it was "
" in 2021 (48) and 2020 (50).
Of the 8 journalists killed since the start of the Ukrainian conflict, 5 were foreign reporters
”, notes RSF.
According to the NGO, "
nearly 80% of media professionals killed in 2022 were knowingly targeted because of their profession and the subjects on which they worked
", such as "
organized crime and corruption