1,668 journalists killed worldwide in past 20 years: Media watchdog RSF

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PARIS: What with murders, contract killings, ambushes, war zone deaths and fatal injuries, a staggering total of 1,668 journalists have been killed worldwide in connection with their work in the last two decades (2003-2022), according to RSF‘s tallies based above all on its annual round-ups.
This gives an average of more than 80 journalists killed every year, according to Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
“Behind the figures, there are the faces, personalities, talent and commitment of those who have paid with their lives for their information gathering, their search for the truth and their passion for journalism,” said Christophe Deloire, RSF secretary-general.
“In each of its annual round-ups, RSF has continued to document the unjustifiable violence that has specifically targeted media workers. This year’s end is an appropriate time to pay tribute to them and to appeal for full respect for the safety of journalists wherever they work and bear witness to the world’s realities,” Deloire added.
The annual death toll peaked in 2012 and 2013 with 144 and 142 journalists killed, respectively. These peaks, due in large measure to the war in Syria, were followed by a gradual fall and then historically low figures from 2019 onwards.
This year, the number of journalists killed in connection with their work was 58, according to RSF’s Press Freedom Barometer on December 28, which was the highest in the past four years and was 13.7 per cent higher than in 2021.
During the past two decades, 80 per cent of media fatalities have occurred in 15 countries.
The two countries with the highest death tolls are Iraq and Syria, with a combined total of 578 journalists killed in the past 20 years, or more than a third of the worldwide total.
They are followed by Afghanistan, Yemen and Palestine. Africa has not been spared, with Somalia coming next.



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