[JURIST] Journalists increasingly face the potential of government prosecution and imprisonment when they choose to report on the activities of ruling governments in the Middle East, according to a new worldwide survey ["Attacks on the Press in 2006" text] released Monday by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [advocacy website]. CPJ, an international press freedom group, claims there has been a decrease in press freedom in the Middle East in recent years that directly corresponds with US President Bush's unsuccessful attempts to promote democracy in the region, particularly in Iraq [CPJ report backgrounder].
In December 2006, CPJ released [JURIST report] a related report [text] in which it claimed that the number of journalists imprisoned for their writings increased for the second year in a row in 2006 with Internet journalists or bloggers comprising one-third of those jailed. China currently leads the world with 31 imprisoned journalists [JURIST news archive], while three American journalists are currently imprisoned, including AP photographer Bilal Hussein [AP report] and Aljazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj [CPJ report]. AP has more.