At least 122 media professionals killed globally in 2016

At least 122 media professionals killed globally in 2016
4 years ago

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SULAIMANI – At least 122 journalists and media professionals were killed in the line of duty in 2016, according to statistics released by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

The global journalist organization recorded the deaths of 122 journalists and media professionals in the line of duty, with 93 of the deaths a result of targeted killings, crossfire incidents, and bomb attacks – classified as media killings.

The other 29 journalists died in two separate plane crashes, one that killed 20 Brazilian sports journalists in Columbia, the other involving 9 Russian journalists who perished in a military plane crash.

The media killings death toll of 93 is down on the previous year’s total of 112 in 2015.  

Iraq topped the media killings list with 15 media professionals killed, followed by Afghanistan (13) then Mexico (11). Following those were Yemen (8), Guatemala (6), and Syria (6).

“These levels of violence in media should spur into action all those committed to protecting journalists. There must be no impunity for those crimes. The IFJ and its affiliates around the world will redouble efforts to mobilize for credible steps to remove the shadow of violence over journalism,” IFJ President Philippe Leruth said.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger warned however that the figures may be much higher, but due to a lack of credible information regarding the cases of missing journalists, the IFJ is unable to pinpoint whether they remain alive or not.

“The number of journalists and media staff killed for doing their work could be higher if it weren’t for lack of credible information on these missing cases and for the self-censorship by journalists in some countries to avoid drawing the unwelcome attention of crime barons,” Bellanger added.

The IFJ, which claims to represent more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries, has recorded at least 2,390 killings of media professionals in targeted assassinations, cross-fire incidents and bomb attacks from 1990 – 2016.