The International Federation of Journalists reported that 65 journalists and media workers worldwide were killed on the job last year.
This figure was 17 more than in 2019, but the same as in 1990, which was when the IFJ started keeping count. The killings occurred in 16 different countries in targeted attacks, bombings and crossfire incidents. Since 1990, 2,680 journalists have been killed.
With 14 killings, Mexico topped the list of countries with the most media workers killed, for the fourth time in five years. Afghanistan came in second with 10 killings, Pakistan with nine, India with eight, the Philippines and Syria with four each, Nigeria and Yemen with three, Iraq and Somalia with two, and Bangladesh, Cameroon, Honduras, Paraguay, Russia and Sweden with one.
“The ruthless reign of crime barons in Mexico, the violence of extremists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia, as well as the intolerance of hardliners in India and the Philippines have contributed to the continued bloodshed in media,’’ said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger.
Over 200 journalists were imprisoned due to their work as of March this year. Among those jailed is Associated Press journalist Thein Zaw, who was nabbed in Myanmar while covering the military’s power grab.
“No democracy worthy of that name can jail messengers of freedom of expression,” Bellanger said.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 38 journalists have been detained since Myanmar’s military forces toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s government last Feb. 1.