Pakistan and Iraq most dangerous countries for journalists
Wednesday 12 October 2011
Pakistan remains the most dangerous country for journalists to work in with eight killed there so far this year.
According to figures from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), 44 journalists have been killed so far in 2011. That compares with the 66 killed in the line of duty or targeted because of their work for the full year in 2010, and 99 in 2009.
WAN-IFRA's annual World Press Freedom Review reveals that: "In the last 10 years, 36 journalists have been targeted and killed in Pakistan and none of their cases have been brought to court. In 2010, the country was the world's deadliest for the press, and 2011 has seen no let-up."
The victims included: "Syed Saleem Shahzad, the South Asia correspondent for Italian news agency Adnkronos International (AKI) and Pakistan bureau chief of the Asia Times website, [who] was tortured and killed in a targeted attack."
The second most dangerous country for journalists was Iraq, where six have been killed.
The most dangerous region was the Middle East and North Africa, with 16 deaths, followed by Asia, with 15.
In the Americas, nine were killed, including freelance journalist Luis Eduardo Gómez in Columbia. According to WAN-IFRA, he "was shot by two unidentified assailants on 30 June at his home in the city of Arboletes. He had been investigating the unsolved murder of his son, killed two years previously, and was also part of a government witness-protection programme in an investigation into links between politicians and clandestine rightwing paramilitary groups."
It added: "Media professionals in Mexico, Central and South America are increasingly exposed to the wave of violence resulting from the conflict between drug-trafficking syndicates and government authorities."
So far this year, four journalists have died in sub-Saharan Africa but none in Europe and Central Asia.
A statement from WAN-IFRA said: "Media employees worldwide face physical violence and persecution of all kinds, whether from public officials, criminals or terrorists. Assaults are daily – and often deadly – for those who challenge governments, report on conflict or investigate corruption and crime."
The World Press Freedom Review is usually published at the end of the year but was brought forward to coincide with the eve of the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Vienna. The review's figures include media employees who were killed in the line of duty or targeted because of their line of work and cases which are still being investigated.
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