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The number of journalists in jail world-wide rose sharply for the second year in a row while those killed fell to their lowest total since 1985, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ) newly released 2002 annual report on press freedom.

CPJ says 136 journalists were in jail at the end of 2002, up 15 per cent from 2001 and 68 per cent from 2000. For the fourth year in a row, China was the world's leading jailer of journalists with 39 behind bars, followed by Eritrea with 18 and Nepal with 16.

Nineteen journalists died last year, down from 37 in 2001, CPJ says. Most of those journalists were killed because of their reporting on sensitive issues, such as official crime and corruption. The numbr is the lowest CPJ has recorded since it began monitoring journalists killed in 1985.

"Attacks on the Press in 2002" covers 500 cases of media repression in more than 120 countries. View it here:

See annual press-freedom reports by other IFEX members:

- International Press Institute:

- International Federation of Journalists:

- Reporters sans frontières:

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