According to a list released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Eritrea is World’s most censored state, followed closely by North Korea and Turkmenistan respectively.
The state remains the only legal distributor of broadcast media and journalists are required to do only the bidding of the government. There are no alternative sources of information. Internet or satellite broadcasts of radio stations in exile are through occasional signal jams and by the poor quality of the government-controlled internet, according to DW Akademie of CPJ.
The United Nations (UN) International Telecommunications Union reports of extremely low internet penetration, at just over 1% of the population. Internet users are usually compelled to visit internet cafes, where they are closely monitored.
The East African country has shut down all independent media in 2001 and is known to be the worst jailer of Journalists in sub-Saharan Africa. As of December 1, 2018, at least 16 Journalists were imprisoned.
“Most have been imprisoned since the 2001 crackdown, and none received a trial,” the report said further stating that “as many as seven journalists may have perished in custody.
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Other countries that severely restrict access to media, harass or intimidate Journalists into silence are Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Equatorial Guinea, and Cuba.
On May 15 2019, reports surfaced online of social media shutdown in Eritrea, ahead of the country’s Independence Day celebrations.
Here is the full list of the 10 most censored countries:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Equatorial Guinea