A total of 65 journalists and media workers have been killed in 2020 in incidents while on the job, 17 more than the previous year, according to the annual report of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The IFJ report, its 30th edition, notes that the deaths, recorded in 16 countries, were the result of targeted attacks, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents.
By country, Mexico is at the top of the list for the fourth time in five years, with 14 murders in 2020. It is followed by Afghanistan, with ten; Pakistan, with nine; India, with eight; The Philippines and Syria, with four each; and Nigeria and Yemen, with three. Two journalists were also killed in Iraq and Somalia, while Bangladesh, Cameroon, Honduras, Paraguay, Russia and Sweden each recorded one murder.
Thus, 2,680 journalists and media workers have died as a result of violence since 1990, the year in which the IFJ began to publish its annual report to show the “deepening” security crisis facing the United States. media. Furthermore, according to the IFJ, the levels of murdered journalists have remained at stable levels since that date.
According to the study, the main causes of insecurity when performing journalism are organized crime groups and sectarian and extremist violence, which “continue to sow terror among journalists, dozens of whom end up paying the price for reporting independently “around the world.
“Regarding this, 2020 has not been an exception,” lamented IFJ Secretary General Anthony Bellanger. “The ruthless reign of terror by the crime lords in Mexico, the violence of extremists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia and the intolerance of the hardliners in India and the Philippines have contributed to the continued slaughter in the media,” he explained. he.
In addition, for the first time, the report includes a list of journalists who are currently in prison for reporting. According to the IFJ, this figure rises to 229 as of March 2021.
“No democracy that deserves that name can lock up the messengers of freedom of expression,” said Bellanger, who has assured that, “every day”, the IFJ works “actively” to achieve “immediate and unconditional” liberation. of comrades “unjustly” imprisoned.
The IFJ work, to be published in full on Monday, also underscores the entity’s commitment to ending impunity for these deaths, pressuring governments to “assume their responsibilities by investigating the murders” and adopt the Convention. International for the Protection and Safety of Journalists of the United Nations General Assembly.