On International Women’s Day, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has highlighted the cases of female journalists jailed around the world in retaliation for their work. At least 33 of the 251 journalists in jail at the time of CPJ’s prison census are women.
At least one of those–Turkish reporter and artist Zehra Dogan–was released in February after serving a sentence on anti-state charges. The four female journalists jailed in Saudi Arabia were detained over their criticism of the kingdom’s ban on women driving.
More than half of jailed female journalists have not been sentenced. Three of them serving life sentence, all on anti-state charges. They are two in Turkey and one in China.
Turkey has the most female journalists behind bars. 14 of 68 journalists jailed there are women and most of them on anti-state charges. Six of seven female journalists imprisoned in China are facing anti-state charges.
Four female journalists jailed in Saudi Arabia are vocal on their criticism on banning women driving. The ban on women to drive was lifted, but these journalists remain behind bars. Rights groups and news outlets alleges that authorities torture and sexually abuse female detainees.
In Vietnam, two journalists detained for their reporting on human rights violations and corruption. Israeli arrested two Palestinian journalists after threatening them to stop writing. Two in Egypt and one in Syria are in jails.