Iranian protests Iran has been described as one of the world's most repressive nations for journalists Credit: Max Braun
Almost 70 journalists were forced into exile in the past year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

This represents a decrease from the same report in 2010, when a record-setting 85 journalists were documented.

The annual report, released today to mark World Refugee Day, accuses Iran and Cuba of being the most "repressive nations" with each said to have sent 18 journalists into exile out of 67 worldwide.

Reporting on the findings, London-based CPJ consultant Elisabeth Witchel said for hundreds of journalists the legal issues, language barriers and challenges of finding work in a new country "can be professionally devastating".

"CPJ's long-term research shows that only about 22 per cent of journalists who have remained in exile are engaged in media-related work today; a total of 461 journalists have had to look for work outside their profession."

The survey documents those journalists who were understood to have fled due to work-related persecution, who remained in exile for at least three months and whose whereabouts and activities are known.

CPJ stresses it does not include journalists and media workers who left for professional or financial opportunities, due to general violence or those targeted for activities other than journalism.

According to the report imprisonment or the threat of being jailed accounted for 82 per cent of cases of journalists leaving in the 12 month period examined.

Other causes included physical attacks or threats of violence or prolonged harassment. See the Journalists in Exile video here.

Journalists featured in the report claim they are living in limbo in the countries they fled to. "I feel unstable because there is nothing for us here," Cuban reporter Victor Rolando Arroyo Carmona is quoted after being forced into exile in Spain.

Since CPJ began documenting exile records in 2001 at least 649 journalists understood to have been facing violence, imprisonment, and harassment have gone into exile worldwide.

A reported 91 per cent have still not been able to return home, CPJ added.

Image by Max Braun on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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