NEW YORK: The Commitee to Protect Journalists(CPJ) is concerned about the growing cases where journalists are persecuted and jailed for doing their job.
Speaking to this Swaziland News in a exclusive interview on Tuesday, Angela Quintal, the Africa Coordinator for the Commitee to Protect Journalists(CPJ) said they noted with great concern that the persecution of journalists escalated during the COVID-19 lockdown. The CPJ Africa Coordinator was responding to questions from this publication regarding an annual report that highlights challenges faced by journalists who are being persecuted by governments within their countries.
“We do this report every year to gauge whether press freedom has improved and I am afraid that this year, 274 journalists have been jailed around the world and its deeply concerning” she said.
The CPJ Africa Coordinator said in Sub-Saharan Africa, 45 journalists were detained, the number increased from 38 last year and she further mentioned that as the CPJ, they very concerned about the escalating cases of media freedom violation. She said most of the cases emerged from governments restriction for the media not only to cover civil unrests but the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As I speak Hopewell Chinono was finally released on bail but the fact remains that throughout this year, with the lockdowns in Zimbabwe we saw an increase in media violation cases in that country related to COVID-19” she said.
The report also highlights challenges faced by other journalists in countries like Cameroon where eight journalists are behind bars, others in their countries have been detailed for past nineteen years without trial.
CPJ Africa Coordinator Angela Quintal