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Number of jailed journalists jumps in 2011

  |   Dec. 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM
NEW YORK, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows the number of journalists imprisoned increased by 20 percent, reaching a 15-year high in 2011.

This year, as of Dec. 1, 179 writers, editors and photojournalists were imprisoned worldwide, 34 more than in 2010, The New York Times reported.

Iran jailed the most journalists with 42 behind bars. Eritrea, China, Burma, Vietnam, Syria, and Turkey also jailed high numbers of journalists.

Almost half of those jailed -- 86 in total -- worked online. At least 78 freelance journalists were imprisoned worldwide.

The 2011 report from the CPJ found a rise in the number of journalists held without charge or due process. And 65 journalist were being held without a public disclosure of charges, some of them in secret prisons without access to lawyers or contact with family members, the committee reported.

Jailing reporters without charge is most commonly practiced in Eritrea, which imprisoned 28 members of the press, the committee said.

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