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Egypt: Highest number of journalists behind bars in Arab world 

Egyptian journalists light candles during a protest the death of the Egyptian journalist Mayada Ashraf, in Cairo, on 28 March 2016 [Amr Sayed/Apaimages]
Egyptian journalists light candles during a protest following the death of the Egyptian journalist Mayada Ashraf, in Cairo on 28 March 2016 [Amr Sayed/Apaimages]

The number of journalists currently behind bars in Egypt stands at 25, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPI) revealed in a report documenting violations against journalists worldwide.

According to the report, this number is the highest compared with other countries in the Arab world, with Saudi Arabia ranking second.

The report divulged that the number of detained journalists reached a global high in 2021, noting that 293 reporters were imprisoned worldwide until 1 December.

The report noted that despite a lower count of journalists in detention in Saudi Arabia, this does not signify progress in the freedom of the press.

"Authoritarian leaders are increasingly finding more sophisticated ways to block independent reporters and outlets – notably internet shutdowns and increased surveillance through high-tech spyware – than keeping them behind bars," the report detailed.

The report cited the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a team of Saudi agents in 2018, noting that this likely acted as a deterrent to silence journalists more effectively than any fresh wave of arrests.

READ: Egypt renews pretrial detention of Al Jazeera journalist

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