According to a study by the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists, the number of journalists who are behind bars worldwide reached a new high point in 2021, with 293 reporters imprisoned as of 1 December 2021, reports The Guardian. The number in jail rose by 15 compared with 2020 and at least 24 journalists were killed because of their coverage, and 18 others died in circumstances that make it too difficult to determine whether they were targeted because of their work.
The record number reflects political upheaval around the world and growing intolerance of independent reporting. China imprisoned 50 journalists, the most of any country, followed by Myanmar (26), which arrested reporters as part of a crackdown after its military coup, then Egypt (25), Vietnam (23), and Belarus (19). Mexico, where journalists are often targeted when their work upsets criminal gangs or corrupt officials, remains the western hemisphere’s deadliest country for reporters.