74 journalists killed worldwide in 2016: Reporters Without Borders
Ali Raysan is seen in this file photo.At least 74 journalists have been killed around the world in 2016 while doing their job, Reporters Without Borders said on Dec. 19.
The press freedom group said that this figure had declined from 101 from 2015, but “this significant fall is due in part to the fact that more and more journalists are fleeing countries that have become too dangerous.”
These countries not only include Syria, Iraq, and Libya, but also Yemen, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Burundi, which the rights group described as becoming “to varying degrees, news and information black holes where impunity reigns.”
The fall was also aligned with being the result of terror imposed by press freedom predators who close media outlets arbitrarily and gag journalists, according to the report released on Dec. 19.
“Regardless of their courage, journalists in countries such as Mexico censor themselves in an attempt to avoid being murdered. Of countries not at war, Mexico was the deadliest for journalists in 2016, with a total of nine killed,” it read.
19 were killed in Syria alone, followed by 10 in Afghanistan, nine in Mexico and seven in Iraq and five in Yemen.
Almost all of those killed were locally-based journalists. Only four journalists were killed while in a foreign country.
Nine bloggers and eight media workers have also been killed this year.
Almost three quarters of the journalists killed this year were knowingly targeted as such.
In Afghanistan, all of the 10 journalists killed were deliberately targeted because of their profession.
Seven, including three women, were killed in a suicide attack in January on a minibus used by privately-owned Tolo TV. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Two thirds of the journalists killed this year were in conflict zones, unlike 2015, when many journalists were killed in countries at peace, like the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Yemen, where more than 7,000 people have been killed since 2015 in a war pitting Saudi-backed regime forces against Houthi rebels, was another a black spot for journalists with five killed.
“The violence against journalists is more and more deliberate,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
“They are clearly being targeted and murdered because they are journalists.
“This alarming situation reflects the glaring failure of the international initiatives aimed at protecting them, and is a death warrant for independent reporting in those areas where all possible means are used to impose censorship and propaganda, especially by fundamentalist groups in the Middle East.” The group called for incoming U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special representative for the protection of journalists.