More than 2,000 journalists killed in 20 years: Media monitoring group

Wed, 5 Jun 2024 6:47 GMT
'Israeli-Palestinian conflict since Oct. 7 is deadliest conflict for media in such short space of time (8 months) with almost 130 victims,' says Press Emblem Campaign.
More than 2,000 journalists killed in 20 years: Media monitoring group

In 20 years, more than 2,000 journalists have been killed around the world, an average of 100 a year, the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) said Tuesday.

“This is an extremely heavy toll,” said PEC president Blaise Lempen on the 20th anniversary of the Geneva-based monitoring group.

“Our main concern remains the impunity that characterizes most of the crimes committed against journalists.”

The PEC said that the annual peaks in the number of victims over the past 20 years have corresponded to armed conflicts.

The conflicts include the war in Iraq from 2003, the war in Syria from 2011, the war in Ukraine in 2022, and the conflict in Gaza from October 2023, said the PEC.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict since Oct. 7, 2023, is the deadliest conflict for the media in such a short space of time (eight months), with almost 130 victims,” said the PEC.

“This is equivalent to the number of victims recorded in the Syrian civil war between 2011 and 2020 (130 journalists killed).”

Overall, Mexico is the deadliest country with by far the highest number of victims between 2004 and 2023, with more than 200 journalists killed in 20 years.

The next most dangerous countries since 2004 are Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank), Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, India, Honduras, and Somalia, according to the group.

On the positive side, the PEC points to clear progress in raising awareness about the problem on the part of international organizations and governments.

The group said that UNESCO has drawn up a plan for the safety of journalists, and the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council have adopted several resolutions.

“However, these diplomatic efforts continue to come up against the failure to respect humanitarian law in armed conflicts, which is supposed to protect civilians,” said the PEC.

The campaign noted the absence of independent investigations and the lack of political will by authorities in the countries concerned.

The PEC has had special consultative status with the UN since 2010. It is run by a 10-member steering committee and maintains a network of correspondents around the world.

On June 2, the PEC said it is concerned about signs of political censorship and persecution of journalists in Ukraine against the backdrop of large-scale aggression by neighboring Russia.

“The practices against journalists that the Ukrainian authorities have begun to use go beyond the necessary precautions in times of war and are typical of countries with non-democratic regimes,” said the PEC in a statement.


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