2012 one of "bloodiest years" for journalists - media body

BRUSSELS Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:15pm IST

Lebanese activists and journalists take part in a protest, against the killing of Lebanon's Al-Jadeed television cameraman Ali Shaaban, as they hold his pictures at Martyrs' square in downtown Beirut, April 10, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/Files

Lebanese activists and journalists take part in a protest, against the killing of Lebanon's Al-Jadeed television cameraman Ali Shaaban, as they hold his pictures at Martyrs' square in downtown Beirut, April 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir/Files

Related Topics

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A heavy death toll in war zones such as Syria and Somalia made 2012 one of the bloodiest years for journalists, with 121 killed, an international journalists' group said on Monday.

The Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said the figure was up from 107 journalists and other media workers killed in targeted attacks, bomb blasts and cross-fire incidents in 2011.

The heavy casualties were the result of a "systematic failure by governments and the United Nations to fulfil their international obligations to protect and enforce journalists' basic right to life", the group said.

"The death toll for 2012 is another indictment of governments which pay lip service to the protection of journalists but have consistently failed to stop their slaughter," Jim Boumelha, IFJ president, said in a statement.

Syria, where more than 45,000 people are estimated to have been killed in a 21-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, topped the list of the most dangerous countries for media in 2012, with 35 journalists or other media workers killed.

The IFJ said 18 journalists had been killed in 2012 in Somalia, where African peacekeepers are battling al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels, turned the country into a media killing field.

Organised crime in Mexico and insurgents in Pakistan were blamed for the 10 journalists killed in each of those countries during the year.

Five each were killed in Iraq and the Philippines.

The IFJ, which represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries, said that, in many cases, journalists were deliberately targeted because of their work and with the aim of silencing them.

The group said it was counting on a new U.N. plan of action on the safety of journalists to deliver. The plan includes helping countries draw up laws promoting freedom of expression, awareness campaigns about media freedoms and threats to journalists, and guidance on keeping journalists safe.

The IFJ's figure for journalists' deaths was higher than the total reported by a Paris-based rights group on December 19. That group, Reporters Without Borders, said 88 journalists were killed doing their job in 2012, more than in any year since monitoring started 17 years ago.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Alison Williams)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

GAZA VIOLENCE

WORLD SHOWCASE

Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground

Ukraine claims more territory as fight intensifies with rebels.  Full Article 

Unifying CalL

Unifying Call

After Iraqi army crumbles, Maliki turns to state TV for help.  Full Article 

No Counter Action

No Counter Action

Lavrov says Russia will not respond in kind to Western sanctions.  Full Article 

Virus Outbreak

Virus Outbreak

Nigeria isolates Lagos hospital where Ebola victim died.  Full Article 

Ferry Disaster

Ferry Disaster

Associate of dead S.Korea ferry boss arrested, children due to give evidence.  Full Article 

Chinese in Iraq

Chinese in Iraq

China says may have citizens fighting in Iraq.  Full Article 

Asylum Seekers

Asylum Seekers

Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers arrive in Australia after weeks held at sea  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage