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A total of 274 journalists have been imprisoned while 24 have been killed across the world in 2020, an international media watchdog revealed on Tuesday.
The annual report by the Committee to Protect Journalists said that the figure of imprisoned journalists is the highest since the watchdog started recording annual figures of oppressed journalists in the 1990s.
The report accused governments worldwide of suppressing the media and fueling misinformation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s shocking and appalling,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a statement.
“This wave of repression is a form of censorship that is disrupting the flow of information and fueling the infodemic,” he added.
China remains the worst country for journalists with a record 47 reporters put behind bars so far in the year.
Turkey Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Ethiopia also recorded high increase in journalists put behind bars.
While the US did not put any journalist in bars, it recorded a record high arrest of journalists with 110 arrested and detained journalists.
The CPJ laid the blame of the increased clampdown on journalists in the US and in the world at the feet of the outgoing Trump administration
“The incoming Biden administration must work as part of a global coalition to bring the number down,” CPJ CEO Simon said.