Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia are Africa’s leading jailers of journalists, according to a new report.
The report by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) paints a worrying picture of the press freedom environment on the continent.
Fifty eight journalists are behind bars across Africa, with the Egyptian administration of President Fattah el-Sisi leading the pack as the worst jailer of journalists.
Whereas there were no journalists in jail in Egypt for their work in 2012, the 2015 CPJ prison census finds the North African country is now one of the worst places on the continent to work in the media with 23 reporters, cameramen and bloggers behind bars.
Majority were locked up for reporting on protests by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Horn of Africa countries Eritrea and Ethiopia are the next worst offenders holding 27 journalists between them, 17 in Eritrea and 10 in Ethiopia.
Although Ethiopia recently freed a few journalists including several bloggers before President Obama’s visit to Addis Ababa, the lobby reports that the bloggers still face travel restrictions.
CPJ’s Africa Programmes Coordinator Sue Valentine said: “No journalist should be jailed for their work.”