Monday, April 11, 2011

What Country in the World Has the Most Journalists Imprisoned?

This article was published on PajamasMedia. Please link to PajamasMedia if you quote or reprint. The full text is presented here for your convenience.

By Barry Rubin

What country in the world has the most journalists imprisoned? The answer might surprise you. According to a recent study, China and Iran are tied at 34 each. But that's only second place.

In first place is Turkey with 57. Yes, that supposed model for Arabic-speaking states, that supposedly ideal example of a moderate Muslim democratic state, NATO member, and candidate for European Union membership is in first place according to the International Press Institute.

And how many journalists there are facing legal proceedings? Hold onto your fedora hat: Between 700 and 1,000.

According to the Institute:

"Vedat Kurşun and Emine Demir of the Azadiya Welat newspaper were sentenced to 166 years and 138 years in prison, respectively, while Bayram Namaz and Ibrahim Çiçek of the Atilim newspaper each face up to 3,000 years in prison. Mustafa Balbay of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Mehmet Haberal of Kanal B Television and Tuncay Özkan of Kanal Biz Television all face dual life sentences, plus further time."

Halit Güdenoğlu of Halit Yürüyüş magazine currently faces 150 court cases.

Western media and governments continue to ignore the growing repression of the Islamist regime in Turkey even as the noose tightens and the subversion of democracy grows daily. On June 11, Turkey will be holding elections. If the ruling AK party wins, the number is going to go a lot higher.

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