BRUSSELS, Jan 1 — At least 108 journalists and media professionals, including 10 from India, were killed across the world while doing their jobs in 2013, according to the annual list released by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
“At least 108 journalists and media staff lost their lives in targeted attacks, bomb attacks and other cross fire incidents around the world. The 23rd annual IFJ list shows that the deadliest regions for journalists were Asia Pacific, with 29 percent of the killings and the Middle East and Arab World with 27 percent,” the IFJ said in a statement while releasing the list Tuesday.
The 23rd annual IFJ listed Syria as the most dangerous country for media professionals with 15 journalist deaths, followed by Iraq with 13, Pakistan, the Philippines and India with 10 each, Somalia with seven and Egypt with six.
The number of killings is slightly down by 10 percent compared to last year’s figure.
The IFJ said that while the numbers of killings are down, levels of violence are still unacceptably high and there is an urgent need for governments to protect and enforce journalists’ basic right to life.
It has urged countries such as the Philippines, Pakistan and Iraq to take drastic action to stem the bloodbath.
Region-wise, the Asia-Pacific was the worst, where it is estimated that 31 journalists were killed, followed by the Middle East and the Arab world with 29 journalists, and Africa with 22. Latin America comes in fourth position, with an estimated 20 media persons killed, and Europe recorded deaths of three journalists.
The IFJ also said that violence against women journalists is on the increase. At least six women journalists lost their lives last year, while many others were the victims of sexual abuse, intimidation and discrimination.
The federation has welcomed the UN resolution establishing an International Day to End Impunity Nov 23 every year to create awareness of crimes against journalists.
“We give our full support to this new initiative which we believe will contribute to fighting impunity across the globe provided that governments are willing to adopt a zero tolerance approach to violence targeting journalists,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha in a statement.
The IFJ is the world’s largest organization of journalists. Established in 1926, the federation represents around 600,000 members in more than 100 countries.
It promotes international action to defend press freedom and social justice through strong, free and independent trade unions of journalists.–IANS