China has made its way onto another top 10 list, albeit a particularly ignominious one that grades countries according to how effectively they attack the notion of free speech.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) published its list of the 10 most censored countries in anticipation of its annual dissertation “Attack on the Press”, which will be released on April 27.
According to the freedom of speech advocacy group: “The list is based on research into the use of tactics ranging from imprisonment and repressive laws to harassment of journalists and restrictions on Internet access.”
While China’s censorship efforts have been outdone by seven other countries, 8th place is hardly an endorsement of China’s (questionable) recognition of human rights.
State-run press and strict sanitising of online content are the Chinese government’s preferred tools of expurgating the media, with the subjugation of freedom of expression a necessary byproduct. The infamous “Great Firewall of China” (check out its hilarious theme anthem here) is the nation’s key defence mechanism against politically-subversive and morally-corrupt online content; becoming more advanced and stretching further across the web each day—apparently the Chinese “Great Cannon” is also now shooting down traffic beyond Chinese borders—to have even more of a devastating purging effect than this circa-2013 infographic illustrated.
China was also reported to be the world’s worst jailer of journalists, with 29 of a total 44 (the largest figure since the CPJ began its census in 1990) being imprisoned on anti-state charges, while 32 of them worked online.
This damning ranking is the second time this year China has placed poorly in lists condemning countries which terrorise free expression. In February, Reporters Without Borders ranked China the 5th worst in the world in their 2015 World Press Freedom Index.
Interestingly, four of the top 10 countries in this particular list are run by communist regimes; while Eritrea has risen to number two spot following its persecution of journalists as its government feared the spread of the Arab Spring via online media. Unsurprisingly, China’s buddies from across the border, the (not-so) Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea have lived up to their mantle as the world’s worst abusers of human rights.
Here are the world’s top 10 tyrannisers of freedom of speech according to the CPJ:
2. North Korea
3. Saudi Arabia
By Liam Bourke