CPJ Highlights Jailed Journalists

On International Women's Day (March 8), the Committee to Protect Journalists is spotlighting the 32 female journalists who have been imprisoned worldwide for doing their jobs.

The good news is that there were actually 33 imprisoned when CPJ did its census, but one was released last month.

Several of them have been abused in custody, including being subject to invasive strip searches, according to CPJ. More than half have yet to be sentenced.

The crimes of four women jailed in Saudi Arabia were criticizing the country's ban on women driving.

Turkey, the "largest jailer of journalists in the world," has the most female journalists in prison at 14.

"These journalists are jailed for their coverage of corruption, human rights, and politics. Some are detained for their work on equality; Saudi Arabia imprisons four female journalists who are vocal on the kingdom’s ban on women driving," the group said.

For example, Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak, a broadcast journalist who covers corruption, crime, human rights, politics, and war for Özgür Düşünce and Can Erzincan TV was detained as part of a 2016 government sweep after a failed coup and is now serving a life sentence. Among the allegations are that guests in a TV debate she hosted had sent "subliminal messages" in support of a coup.

"CPJ recognizes female journalists around the world jailed in retaliation for their coverage of vital issues," the group said.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.