The two women who now join the roster work in a part of the world where it has become increasingly common for the government to restrict journalists, Halkier said.
– Carrie Lam ended up in hot air regarding major protests in 2019 and last year’s new security law in Hong Kong. The large independent newspaper there was forced to close because of this policy.
The other woman on the RSF list – Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also appeared in the same vein, according to Halkair.
– Created a digital security team focused on social media platforms and bloggers. The law, introduced in 2018, led to the arrest and conviction of 70 journalists and bloggers.
There are also more countries in Southeast Asia inspired by the way China treats journalists and bloggers, such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, according to Halkjaer.
“We’ve also added some authoritarian leaders from fairly democratic countries,” he said, referring to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
New and old names
Why is the list published this year after a five-year hiatus?
– It is the result of the epidemic and that new enemies have been added to the list.
Almost half of the total 37 people on the list are newcomers, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
– But there are also seven people who have remained on the list over the past 20 years and we still keep them – such as Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, Ali Khamenei in Iran, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.