10 Most Censored Countries – Committee to Protect Journalists
Lowlight: In March 2019, Maryna Zolatava, editor-in-chief of independent news outlet Tut.by, was found guilty of accessing a state-run news site with someone else’s log-in information and fined 7,650 Belarusian rubles ($3,600).Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is seen on TV screens inside a shop during a briefing in Minsk, Belarus, on February 3, 2017. The government recently tightened its control over news websites and social media. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Leadership: President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who succeeded Raúl Castro in 2018.
How censorship works: Despite some improvements in recent years–including the expansion of mobile internet and Wi-Fi access–Cuba still has the most restricted climate for the press in the Americas. Print and broadcast media are wholly controlled by the one-party Communist state and, by law, must be “in accordance with the goals of the socialist society.” In a missed opportunity, a referendum on constitutional changes, approved in February 2019, did not include any loosening of media restrictions. Cuba rolled out home internet access in 2017 and mobile data plans in 2018, but the services are prohibitively expensive for most Cubans, with 4 gigabytes of data costing around $30, the equivalent of the average state monthly salary in 2017. Although the internet has opened some space for critical reporting, the state-owned service provider, ETECSA, is ordered to block objectionable content, and restricts access to some critical blogs and news platforms, according to a report by the Open Observatory of Network Interference, which collects data on network tampering. Some independent journalists and bloggersuse websites that are hosted overseas. The government targets critical journalists through harassment, physical and online surveillance, short-term detentions, home raids, and equipment seizures. Natural disaster coverage is one flashpoint: authorities detained multiple journalists reporting on the aftermath of hurricanes inOctober 2016 and September 2017. Visas for international journalists are granted selectively by officials, according to Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press report.