CPJ faults the US for failing to criticize the war on the press. In fact, it believes the Trump Administration has abetted the crackdown.
In CPJ’s view, Donald Trump’s nationalistic rhetoric, fixation on Islamic extremism and constant attacks on the media as “fake news” provide a cover for legal charges and the jailing of journalists.
The group counted 21 journalists jailed after they were charged with distributing “fake news.”
For the second year in a row, Turkey topped the list as the worst jailer of reporters, throwing 73 journalists behind bars.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a crackdown of press freedom in early 2016 and accelerated it following a failed coup attempt, which was blamed on an alleged terror group led by exiled cleric Fethlullah Gulen, who is living in Pennsylvania.
CPJ noted that Team Trump has turned a blind eye to Erdogan’s repressive treatment of the press. Trump hosted the Turkish strongman at the White House in May and recently called him a friend.
Similarly, Chinese president Xi Jinping enjoyed the hospitality of Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
The US president also made no mention of China’s human rights abuses during his November visit to Beijing.
After visiting Trump at the White House in April, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi passed a draconian anti-terrorism law that furthered Egypt’s press crackdown, according to CPJ.