The Press Emblem Campaign has disclosed that 83 media workers have been killed in 30 countries across the world with India and Mexico identified as the most dangerous countries for media workers in 2020.
PEC in its annual report issued in Geneva, revealed that the number of journalists killed increased by 10% compared to last year.
PEC noted that India leads with 13 assassinations ahead of Mexico where 11 journalists were killed while 8 also died in Pakistan.
PEC General Secretary Blaise Lempen said, “fewer journalists have died in areas of armed conflict this year, but too many of them have been targeted for their work in peaceful countries.
“While Mexico has been among the most dangerous countries for several years, the rise in India is particularly worrying, with 10 more deaths in a year,” he added.
PEC thereafter condemned these attacks and calls for those responsible for these crimes to be brought to justice.
Detailing the figures of victims across the world, PEC said, “three assassinations were recorded in Nigeria as well as in Syria and Venezuela. The following countries deplore two victims: Brazil, Guatemala, Liberia, Somalia.
“Finally, one victim has been identified in the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Mozambique, Paraguay, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, and Yemen.
“By region, Asia, with 33 dead, is ahead of Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
“Of the 83 journalists murdered, only 16 were in conflict zones (Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen). It seems that the pandemic has helped to freeze some conflicts and also limit the movement of journalists to dangerous areas.
“In ten years, from 2011 to 2020, 1180 journalists were killed, or 118 per year, 2.26 per week, according to figures from the PEC.”
PEC also noted that over 520 journalists have also died from Covid-19 since March (see our corona-ticker). Over the year, nearly 600 journalists died as a result of the violence and the pandemic, a very heavy price, the worst since the Second World War.
“The PEC figures are higher than those of other organizations because the PEC lists all killed media workers, whether or not their deaths are related to their professional activity.
“It is indeed difficult to prove that a crime takes place due to the work of a journalist without independent and comprehensive investigations which are often lacking in countries in conflict and shaken by violence.
“For this, the creation of an independent investigative mechanism within the framework of the United Nations is essential to fill the gaps that may exist at the national level in terms of prevention, protection and prosecution,” it added.