10 Most Censored Countries

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Where you can bid adieu to freedom of the press. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) studied media freedom in dozens of countries to determine the level of access people have to information and the methods some states use to censor news and information. The CPJ used the following criteria to develop its list of the world's most censored countries: state control of the media, formal censorship rules, violence against and imprisonment of journalists, and restricted access to foreign news and the Internet.

China climbed up from its previous rank of 9, and three new countries censored their way onto the list. Turkmenistan controls all media in the country, which has tied into a more recent crackdown on political dissidence (including allegations of torture and political arrests). Belarus also climbed the list. Both of these states are former members of the Eastern bloc, which have suffered problems with corruption since their independence from the former USSR. 

Rank Country
1 Eritrea
2 North Korea
3 Turkmenistan
4 Saudi Arabia
5 China
6 Vietnam
7 Iran
8 Equatorial Guinea
9 Belarus
10 Cuba
The Committee to Protect Journalists, September 2019. www.cpj.org

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