Eritrea Beats North Korea as World’s Most-Censored Country

Samuel Gebre

(Bloomberg) -- Eritrea is the world’s most censored state, even worse than North Korea, according to media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists.

The reclusive Horn of Africa nation shut down all independent media in 2001 and is the “worst jailer” of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa, with at least 16 in detention by the end of 2018, most of them imprisoned since the crackdown, CPJ said in a report published Tuesday.

In June, more than 100 African writers, academics and rights activists wrote an open letter to President Isaias Afwerki requesting he allow a delegation to meet with the government and people who’ve been imprisoned. The request was rejected.

Among other countries that severely restrict media and harass or intimidate journalists into silence with detention as well as physical and digital surveillance are Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Equatorial Guinea and Cuba, according to the organization.

Eritrean Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

(Adds open letter in third paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story: Samuel Gebre in Nairobi at sgebre@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at dmalingha@bloomberg.net, Helen Nyambura, Pauline Bax

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