[JURIST] The number of journalists behind bars decreased from 134 in 2006 to 127 at the end of 2007, according to a year-end report [press release; capsule summaries] issued by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Wednesday. China incarcerates the most journalists with 29 currently in prison, followed by Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, and Azerbaijan. The report also found that the proportion of journalists jailed without criminal charges - one in six - increased for the third straight year. Eritrea and Cuba accounted for most of those cases, but the US is also currently holding two journalists without charges: Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj, who has been detained at Guantanamo Bay for over five years, and AP photographer Bilal Hussein, who has been held in a US detention facility in Iraq for 19 months. In November, the US Defense Department said that the US military will recommend that Hussein be charged in Iraqi courts [JURIST report] with collaborating with Iraqi insurgents. AP has more.
The 2006 year-end CPJ report noted that one-third of all jailed journalists published online [JURIST report]. Another CPJ report found that 67 journalists were killed in 2007 [CPJ report] while directly engaged in reporting. Earlier this month, seven countries committed to new efforts to protect journalists and their crews [JURIST report] in armed conflicts following the conclusion of a meeting in Switzerland of the 194 signatories of the Geneva Conventions.