Islamabad, DEC 29 – 50 journalists were killed worldwide in 2020, according to a report of abusive treatment and violence against journalists, published Monday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). While the number of journalists killed in countries at war continues to fall, more are being murdered in countries, not at war.
The report highlighted murders in Mexico, India and Pakistan.
“RSF tallied 50 cases of journalists killed in connection with their work from January 1 to December 15, 2020, a number similar to 2019 (when 53 journalists were killed), although fewer journalists have been in the field this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report said. More journalists are being killed in countries considered to be “at peace.” In 2016, 58% of media fatalities took place in war zones.
Now only 32% of the fatalities are in war-torn countries such as Syria or Yemen or in countries with low or medium-intensity conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iraq. In other words, 68% (more than two thirds) of the fatalities are in countries “at peace,” above all Mexico (with eight journalists killed), India (four), the Philippines (three) and Honduras (three). 84% of those killed this year were “deliberately targeted” for their work, RSF said in its annual report, compared to 63% in 2019. “For several years now, Reporters Without Borders has noted that investigative journalists are really in the crosshairs of states, or cartels,” said Pauline Ades-Mevel, RSF editor-in-chief.