Journalists put their lives on the line for the sake of information. They are our connection to news, information, and places that are torn by strife. Some countries which have totalitarian governments restrict freedom and commit atrocities on people who differ from them. The condition of these people would never be known to the rest of the world but for the courageous journalists who report surreptitiously from these countries.
Conflicts arising due to the difference of ideologies have plunged the world in turmoil. Reporters travel to these areas to bring us news reports of the terrible situations people there are suffering at the hands of terrorists. Read on to find out which countries are a living hell for journalists:
Countries dangerous for journalists
These countries are the most dangerous for journalists:
- North Korea
North Korea is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. The media is completely controlled by the state and there is no freedom of the press.
Foreign correspondents stationed in North Korea are monitored by government watchdogs and are not allowed to interact with citizens at all. The world would be in the darkness about the activities of this oppressive state had it not been for its citizen journalists. These are common people who relay information about conditions within the country to journalists stationed at the Chinese border, risking their lives every time they do so.
In Syria, journalists are viewed as the enemy. Islamic militants have abducted, tortured and killed many journalists, local and foreign. Many journalists were killed as were they caught in crossfire and explosions. The country which has been ripped apart by conflict has destroyed the lives of millions of Syrians who have had no choice but to abandon their country.
In fact, big international news agencies now are sending fewer correspondents to Syria. They depend on freelance journalists who bravely continue to report.Syria has become a hell for journalists as they have to survive in a war zone which has no defined boundaries.
The Chinese communist regime imposes strict censorship and curbs freedom of journalists. It arrests those who dare to write anything which diverges from the official guidelines. Bloggers have lost their freedom of expression as the government has cracked downon cyber dissidents and increased online censorship.
Chinese authorities are especially hard on journalists who investigate corruption and environment issues. Bloggers who write about human rights and political issues face going to jail. Arrested journalists very seldom get a fair trial. Hong Kong and Taiwan which enjoyed freedom of press earlier, are also gradually being coerced to toe the line according to the Chinese government.
Saudi Arabia is ruled by an extremist monarchy according to the dictates of the Wahhabi sect of Islam. It mercilessly crushes any form of journalism which it perceives as damaging to the rulers and their philosophy.
It regularly beheads people for various offences, including those who speak out. It recently imprisoned a journalist for five years because of his tweets regarding the lack of freedom of women to drive cars in the country.
Mexico’s journalists supposedly have protection from the government and crimes against journalists have been federalized. This does not stop journalists being abducted and killed routinely, for writing about violent crimes, corruption anddrug cartels. Journalists are killed not only by organized crime members but state officials who do not see eye to eye.
Journalists in Russia are killed if they write anything unsuitable according to the ruling government. They are threatened and intimidated to practice self-censorship or face serious consequences. High ranking state officials including Putin have been accused of murdering opponents, including journalists. It’s another country in which a reporter’s life is always at risk.
In Pakistan, journalists are targeted for expressing their views. Pakistan ranks fourth on the list of countries most dangerous for journalists. In Pakistan, democracy is a façade. Both the state and organized crime target journalists who report the truth. The media is suppressed by harsh blasphemy laws and though Pakistani press looks free, nothing can be further from it.
Journalistswho fight against oppression to report the truth deserves our admiration and respect. They live in treacherous conditions in these countries, because they value freedom of speech more than their lives.