This Year, Turkey Imprisoned More Journalists Than Any Other Country

Amid near-daily criticisms of how President Trump reacts to the US media establishment (he cancelled the customary White House Christmas party for members of the press? Oh, say it isn’t so!), a report from the non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has emerged highlighting suppression of the media in other countries, one in particular:

“Turkey has imprisoned more journalists for crimes against the state than any other country this year, according to a report released Thursday by the Committee to Protect Journalists,” per a news report in National Review.

“Despite its role in investigating and stoking international outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October, the Turkish government in 2018 retained its commitment to silencing negative press coverage, jailing 68 journalists on so-called anti-state charges over the course of the year.”

Earlier this year, the assassination of Saudi Arabian journalist (and United States legal resident) Jamal Khashoggi, almost certainly at the hands of the Saudi government, drew global condemnation. (Just this week, Time named Khashoggi and other imprisoned or persecuted journalists the magazine’s 2018 “person of the year.”)

And in fact, Turkey’s president has not been silent on the matter, either: “…Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been perhaps the fiercest critic of the Saudi Arabian government’s assassination of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But he has continued his own government’s repression of dissident journalists across Turkey, which began after an ultimately unsuccessful coup in 2016, when roughly 100 Turkish media organizations were shut down and many of their employees were jailed.”

“In total, 251 journalists from around the globe were jailed in 2018 for alleged crimes related to their work — the highest number since the CPJ began keeping statistics in 2015. Together with Turkey, China and Egypt were responsible for jailing more than half of all the journalists imprisoned globally in 2018. In China, 47 journalists were jailed this year as Beijing escalated its persecution of the Uighur ethnic minority, roughly 1 million of whom now reside in Chinese detention camps, according to a recent United Nations report.”