New Delhi, Dec 30: Sixty journalists and media staff were murdered around the world this year in comparison to 49 in 2019, eight of which happened in India, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said in its report issued on Wednesday.
The annual report read, ‘The year 2020 will go down in history as the year of an unprecedented global pandemic crisis, but also as the year of the resurgence of murders of journalists and media staff around the world. With 60 murders in 2020, the macabre statistics are on the rise again compared to 2019 (49).’
“The year 2020 will go down in history as the year of an unprecedented global pandemic crisis, but also as the year of the resurgence of murders of journalists and media staff around the world. With 60 murders in 2020, the macabre statistics are on the rise again compared to 2019 (49).” it read further.
IFJ records show that the current number of killings of media professionals are at the same levels as in 1990 when the IFJ started publishing annual reports on journalists and media staff killed, which show peaks of death tolls in the mid nineties and mid-2000s.
Organised criminal cartels, extremists’ insurgencies and sectarian violence continue to strike terror among journalists, scores of who have paid the ultimate price for independent reporting in the four corners of the globe.
In this regard, 2020 has been no exception. 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.
As of 31 December 2020, the IFJ lists Asia Pacific as the most dangerous region with 27 killings, followed by Latin America with 17 murders. The Middle East and Arab World posted eight killings, followed by Africa (6) and Europe (2).
In its 2020 ranking per country, Mexico tops the list for the fourth time in five years with 14 killings, followed by India (8), Afghanistan (7), Pakistan (7), Philippines (4), Syria (4) while Iraq and Nigeria recorded 3 killings each. There were also two killings in Somalia. Finally, there was one journalist killed in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, Paraguay, Russian, Sweden and Yemen.