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These Spanish Cartoons Capture The Dire State Of Press Freedom Worldwide

ICE Graveyard 3/05/2016 Sara Elkamel

In Turkey, there has been a crackdown on press freedom that its journalists are describing as a "witch-hunt," the Guardian reported just a day before World Press Freedom Day. Reporters have been prosecuted, harassed or deported for speaking out against corruption, "insulting religious values" or criticizing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In December, 14 journalists were behind bars in Turkey -- among 199 imprisoned worldwide. 

Journalists across the globe are operating under “a climate of fear and tension,” according to Reporters Without Borders, or RSF. The 2016 World Press Freedom Index published by RSF in April reveals that there has been a general decline in media freedoms worldwide between 2013 and 2016.

In an exhibition titled, "A Cry of Freedom: Cartoonists for Freedom of Information," organized by Reporters Without Borders, Spanish cartoonists highlight the dire state of journalism around the world, while capturing the bravery that journalists show in the face of danger and repression. The exhibit opens at the FNAC Castellana in Madrid on Thursday, before making more stops in Valencia, Alicante, Barcelona and Malaga.

According to RSF, the decline in press freedom and independence worldwide can be explained by "increasingly authoritarian tendencies of governments in countries such as Turkey and Egypt, tighter government control of state-owned media, even in some European countries such as Poland, and security situations that have become more and more fraught, in Libya and Burundi, for example, or that are completely disastrous, as in Yemen."

The World Press Freedom Index highlights that in Africa, journalists have been victims of terrorism, armed conflict and election crises. Media freedoms have also declined in South America in 2015, due to such factors as institutional violence, organized crime and corruption.

The Middle East and North Africa has continued to be one of the world’s most challenging and fatal regions for reporters; independent journalism has suffered in the crosshairs of terrorism and abusive counter-terrorism, according to RSF.

Among the deadliest countries for journalists so far in 2016 have been Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. 

"A Cry of Freedom: Cartoonists for Freedom of Information" coincides with World Press Freedom Day, an opportunity to reflect on the status of media freedom and independence worldwide. Some of the cartoons below are featured in the RSF exhibit.

A version of this post originally appeared on HuffPost Spain.

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