Number of Journalists Jailed Worldwide Hits Record High

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Turkey has hit a record high for jailed journalists

The number of journalists in prison has hit a record high this year at 232 people, with Turkey jailing the most reporters, according to a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The total is 53 more than last year's tally and is the highest since the New York-based nonprofit began conducting surveys in 1990. Turkey currently has 49 reporters behind bars.

The survey found that anti-government charges such as terrorism, treason and subversion were the most common leveled against journalists this year. About 132 journalists are imprisoned under those charges.

Turkey's anti-terror laws have allowed authorities there to dub reports on banned groups, such as the Kurdish nationalist activists, as terrorism.

Mehmet Ali Birand, the editor of the Istanbul-based station Kanal D, said the Turkish government "does not differentiate between these two major things: freedom of expression and terrorism."

The Turkish embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a phone call from TheWrap for comment.

Iran is the second-worst country for press freedom, the study claims, having locked up 45 reporters.

China came in third, with 32 — 19 of whom are ethic Tibetans or Uighurs imprisoned for chronicling ethnic strife in their regions.

The organization said that journalists who either disappeared or were abducted by nongovernmental criminal gangs or militant groups did not appear on the prison census and are classified as "missing" or "abducted."