Methods of harassment of the press include confiscation of articles, closure of press offices, censorship, injunctions and damages, imprisonment, trial, threats to journalistic immunity, police brutality, the compilation of political dossiers, general intimidation and in the case of foreign correspondents, deportation or banning entry. It constitutes a restriction on the freedom of information and expression, which may lead to ignorance, apathy, alienation and indoctrination, encourage subversive activities, or strengthen dictatorship and government control.
Caught in a crossfire of deceit, red tape, ambition, censorship and logistics, truth is an early casualty anywhere news is actually taking place. A 1983 survey shows that a minority of the globe respects free speech. The rest of the world is 'gagged'. Most of the eastern European countries continue to imprison outspoken journalists, as do most countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.
In 1992, news outlets were officially censored or closed, or editions confiscated, at least 189 times, a slight increase on 1991 (162 times). The distribution of incidents by country was as follows:
[Africa] Angola (1), Cameroon (31), Cape Verde (1), Gambia (1), Ivory Coast (5), Kenya (5), Malawi (1), Nigeria (1), Rwanda (1), Sierra Leone (1), Sudan (2), Uganda (1), Zaire (4)
[America] Dominican Republic (2), Peru (6), USA (1), Venezuela (8)
[Asia] Bangladesh (2), China (2), India (21), Indonesia (5), Japan (1), Malaysia (4), Sri Lanka (2), Thailand (2), Macau (1)
[Pacific] Solomon Islands (1)
[Europe] Albania (1), Ireland (1), Turkmenistan (1), Turkey (12)