Rwanda and these four African countries are the ‘worst jailers of journalists’

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola Dec 11, 2019 at 10:00am

December 11, 2019 at 10:00 am | Activism & Campaigns

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola | Staff Writer

December 11, 2019 at 10:00 am | Activism & Campaigns

Photo: Assenna.com

A list published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has ranked Egypt, Eritrea, and Cameroon the worst nations in Africa for jailing journalists.

With a total amount of 250 journalists imprisoned globally, 26 of those have been jailed in Egypt while 39 have been jailed in sub-Saharan Africa.

Of 39 journalists jailed in sub-Saharan Africa, the bulk remains in Eritrea, where most have not been heard from for nearly two decades; Cameroon was second worst. While the number of journalists in prison in that region is broadly steady with last year, CPJ finds that freedom of expression is backsliding in two of the most populous countries, Ethiopia and Nigeria, which does not bode well for journalists.

According to the report, most of the journalists who have been arrested in Egypt are grouped in mass trials and charged with both terror offenses and false news. 

Despite the release of several of the journalists, authorities still have a grip on them as it has ordered some released prisoners, notably award-winning photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, and prominent blogger Alaa Abdelfattah to check in at a police station every evening.

Another arrest that has caused a storm in sub-Saharan Africa was the rearrest of U.S-based Nigerian journalist, Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of US-based online news platform Sahara Reporters.

Here are the top 5 African countries with the highest jailed journalists.

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