PEC annual report: 113 media workers including five Pakistanis killed in 2018




PEC annual report: 113 media workers killed in 2018 an increase of 14 percent

Geneva December 17, 2018 (PEC) – In its annual report, the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) announced that since the beginning of the year 113 journalists were killed in 30 countries, an increase of 14 percent in media casualties compared to the previous year.

In three countries this year journalists paid an unacceptable toll: Afghanistan with 17 killed, Mexico also with 17 killed and Syria with 11.

After these countries, the most dangerous were Yemen and India, with 8 journalists killed in each country. Those 5 countries represent more than half of those killed (61).

In Afghanistan terrorist groups and in Mexico criminal groups bear the main responsibility of the high price paid by media workers. In Yemen and Syria, journalists were killed in fighting or targeted by armed groups while covering the ongoing conflicts.

Ranking six are the United States of America with 6 killed because the tragedy at Capital Gazette in June. Pakistan follows with 5 killed.

In Brazil and the Philippines, 4 journalists were killed in each country. In five countries, 3 journalists were killed: Central African Republic (3 Russian journalists), Colombia, Ecuador, Russia and Somalia.

Two journalists were killed in Guatemala, two by Israel in Gaza. One media worker was killed in each of the following countries: Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Germany, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Nicaragua, Salvador, Saudi Arabia (in the consulate of Istanbul), Slovakia, and Ukraine.

Last year, the number of women journalists killed has risen sharply: from 5 in 2016 to 16 in 2017. This year, 7 female journalists were killed.

The most relevant decrease in media fatalities was in Iraq (9 journalists killed last year, only 1 this year). The biggest increase was in Afghanistan where the numbers have doubled (from 8 in 2017 to 17).

Two-thirds of the victims were killed in zones of conflict (including Mexico), one third in countries in peace.


By region, Asia represents the most affected region with 36 killed, followed by Latin America with 32 killed, the Middle East 24 killed, Africa 8 killed, Europe 7 and North America 6.

In a decade, from 2009 to 2018, 1221 journalists and media workers were killed, 122 per year, on average 2,34 per week. According to the PEC, 99 journalists were killed in 2017, 127 in 2016 (without the victims of two plane crashes), 135 in 2015, 138 in 2014, 129 in 2013, 141 in 2012,107 in 2011, 110 in 2010, 122 in 2009, 91 in 2008, 115 in 2007 and 96 in 2006.

During the last 5 years (2014 to 2018) the most dangerous countries were Syria (with 64 killed), Mexico (61), Afghanistan (48), Iraq (46), Pakistan (36), India (30), Yemen (29), the Philippines (24), Brazil (22) and Somalia (22).

Far from the goal

The PEC strongly condemns all those attacks and calls upon the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice. There must be no impunity. The brutal murder in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is unprecedented and all the light must be shed on the circumstances of this atrocious crime.

“The decrease in the number of victims in 2017, for the first time since 10 years less than 100, has brought hope. After a disastrous start to the year, the end of 2018 was calmer, but we are far from the goal. We need a reduction of at least half the number of journalists killed” said PEC Secretary General Blaise Lempen in Geneva.

The PEC demands that international organizations such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe take up this goal of halving the number of journalists killed worldwide, less than 50 per year.

The PEC is pleased to see that the idea of ​​an international convention strengthening the protection of journalists is gaining ground. Without reaching a new convention no legal check and balances will be in place, said PEC President Hedayat Abdel Nabi.

PEC figures are higher than those of other organizations because the PEC considers all media workers killed, whether it is work-related or not. In fact, it is difficult to prove that a crime is related or not to the work of the journalist without independent and full enquiries.


for the list of casualties, please consult:



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