Reporters Without Borders announced that there are 488 media workers currently imprisoned in the world, in a record number, but it counted in its annual report the killing of 46 journalists in 2021, the lowest death toll in twenty years.
“The number of imprisoned journalists has never been so high since the creation of Reporters Without Borders’ annual report in 1995,” the press rights organization said.
The organization pointed out that this exceptional 20% increase in one year was caused “mainly by three countries”: Myanmar, Belarus and China, whose national security law imposed in Hong Kong in 2020 caused a sharp rise in the number of journalists imprisoned in this city.
The organization stated that it had never recorded a “number of female journalists imprisoned” as high as 60, or more than a third compared to 2020.
While men represent most of the number of imprisoned journalists in the world (87.7%), Belarus is the country that imprisoned more female journalists (17) than male journalists (15).
The number of journalists and media workers killed in 2021 reached its lowest level in twenty years, with 46 deaths, according to the organization.
“Reporters Without Borders” confirmed that “this downward trend, which has intensified since 2016, is explained in particular by the development of regional conflicts (Syria, Iraq and Yemen) and the stability of the fronts after 2012 and 2016, especially the deadly ones.”
She added that most of those killed were assassinated: “65% of the dead are deliberately targeted and disposed of.”
This year, Mexico and Afghanistan remain the most dangerous countries for journalists, with 7 and 6 journalists killed, respectively, followed by Yemen and India in third place, with four journalists killed in each.
Reporters Without Borders also counted that at least 65 journalists and media collaborators were taken hostage in the world, two more than last year.
She explained that “all of them are hostages in three countries in the Middle East: Syria (44 journalists), Iraq (11), and Yemen (9),” with the exception of French journalist Olivier Dubois, who has been detained since April in Mali.