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INFOGRAPHIC: Turkey branded world's 'biggest prison' in new RSF report

Syria, Iraq and Yemen were also rated as three of the top five most deadly countries for journalists
Activists hold pictures of the Turkey representative for Reporters Without Borders, rights activist Sebnem Korur Fincanci and journalist Ahmet Nesin on 8 November, 2016 in front of Cagayan court house (AFP)

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has labelled Turkey the world's number one imprisoner of journalists, with Syria listed as the most deadly place in the world for journalists.

In a new report by the press freedom organisation, a number of Middle East countries were condemned for their treatment of journalists, singling out Turkey, for allegedly imprisoning over 100 journalists, as "the biggest prison for professionnal (sic) journalists."

In addition, the report warned that in the top five countries where journalists faced being killed - which included Syria, Iraq and Yemen - the majority were "targeted deliberately".

"A total of 52 journalists, all men, are currently held hostage worldwide, as against 61 on the same date last year," read the report, a figure including three citizen journalists and five media contributors.

"It should nonetheless be noted that the number of hostages in 2015 was exceptionally high, 35% more than the year before. This year, all the hostages are in the Middle East, in three war-torn countries. The immense majority are local journalists, often freelancers working for little money in extremely dangerous conditions."

The report warned that the "rights of millions of citizens to news and information are being sacrificed as a result of the failure to take effective action."

"The world’s major problems, environmental issues and the fight against violent extremism cannot be addressed properly if journalists are not doing their job.

"The impunity enjoyed by those responsible for crimes of violence against journalists must be ended in order to create a safe environment for the media to operate."

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