Official Silencing

This article from the other ABC says that for the sixth year in a row, China leads the world in imprisoning journalists. Reason adds: "But in fairness to those countries, their combined populations wouldn't even equal China's." This got me curious. The number of journalists jailed and populations of these countries are:

China: 43, 1,298,847,624
Cuba: 23, 11,308,764
Eritrea: 17, 4,447,307
Burma: 11, 42,720,196

Which leads to ratios of:
.000000033106 for China
.0000020338 for Cuba
.000038005 for Eritrea
.00000025749 for Burma

(Population estimates are from July 2004, CIA World Factbook)

China's not the best place to be a journalist, and Castro's Cuba is far less hospitable. Least hospitable is Eritrea, where, according to Wikipedia:

National elections have been periodically scheduled and cancelled. Independent local sources of political information on Eritrean domestic politics are scarce; in 2001 the government closed down all of the nation's privately owned print media and outspoken critics of the government have been allegedly arrested and held without trial, according to various international observers including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Not surprisingly, "[b]ecause the Eritrean constitution is not yet in effect, the unicameral Eritrean parliament, the National Assembly, is entirely populated by members of the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ)."

And last in the chain of no surprises,

The People's Front for Democracy and Justice is the only legal Eritrean political party. It is nominally Marxist in ideology, and is the successor to the Eritrean People's Liberation Front. The leader of the party (and of Eritrea) is Isaias Afewerki.

Journalists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

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The PFDJ? Nothing but a

The PFDJ? Nothing but a bunch of SPLITTERS!! :furious:

(I'm a member of the Democratic Justice People's Front) :wink:

I was surprised that

I was surprised that Zimbabwe didn't make the list. But after reading the source document, it looks like the aim of the project was more a "bringing the matter to the world's attention" than it was "careful statistics".

Mark, Don't forget Saudi


Don't forget Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Libya, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal (what's happening there is truly apalling), etc. :mad::bomb::furious::wall:

More on press freedom here:

Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders reports the following so far for 2005:

7 - Journalists killed

102 - Journalists imprisoned

3 - Media assistants imprisoned

74 - Cyberdissidents imprisoned (three of these came in the last few days in Bahrain)