81 reporters killed in 2017
Published : Sunday, 31 December, 2017 at 11:44 AM Count : 771
At least 81 reporters were killed doing their jobs this year, while violence and harassment against media staff has skyrocketed, the worldâ€™s biggest journalistsâ€™ organisation says.
In its annual â€œKill Reportâ€, the International Federation of Journalists said the reporters lost their lives in targeted killings, car bomb attacks and crossfire incidents around the world.
More than 250 journalists were in prison in 2017.
The number of deaths as of Dec 29 was the lowest in a decade, down from 93 in 2016. The largest number were killed in Mexico, but many also died in conflict zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
IFJ President Philippe Leruth said that while the drop in deaths â€œrepresents a downward trend, the levels of violence in journalism remain unacceptably highâ€.
He said the IFJ finds it â€œmost disturbing that this decrease cannot be linked to any measure by governments to tackle the impunity for these crimesâ€.
Eight women journalists were killed, two in European democracies Kim Wall in Denmark, who died on the submarine of an inventor she was writing about, and Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was blown up by a bomb placed in her car.
Beyond the deaths, the IFJ warned that â€œunprecedented numbers of journalists were jailed, forced to flee, that self-censorship was widespread and that impunity for the killings, harassment, attacks and threats against independent journalism was running at epidemic levelsâ€.
Turkey, where official pressure on the media has been ramped up since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, is becoming notorious for putting reporters behind bars. Some 160 journalists are jailed in Turkey two-thirds of the global total the report said.
The organisation also expressed concern about India, the worldâ€™s largest democracy, where it said that attacks on journalists are being motivated by violent populism.
Countries with the highest numbers of media killings: Mexico: 13 Afghanistan: 11 Iraq: 11 Syria: 10 India: 6 Philippines: 4 Pakistan: 4 Nigeria: 3 Somalia: 3 Honduras: 3