Geneva, July 4 (PEC) – According to the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) the number of journalists killed continued to increase from January to the end of June 2016 to reach 74 in 22 countries (3 per week on average)
During the same period (January to June) and with the same criteria 71 journalists were killed in 2015 (reaching 135 for the whole year), 66 in 2014 (138 for the whole year), 59 in 2013 (129 for the whole year)
PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen said that despite the many meetings held on the issue of the safety of journalists, the adoption of UN resolutions, measures undertaken to enhance training and protection, the so many condemnations, we have not been able to hold the breaks on the terrible tally. We must do more in the fight against impunity.
He added that it is clear that unresolved and ongoing conflicts are the source of the high price paid by journalists for informing the general public.
Most dangerous countries
Afghanistan from the outset of this year has been the most dangerous country for media work with 10 journalists killed, Syria the second with 9 media workers killed.
Mexico follows with 8 killed, then Iraq and Yemen with 7 in each country.
5 journalists were killed in Guatemala, and 4 in each of the following countries: India, Pakistan, Turkey (where 2 Syrian journalists were killed by ISIL).
2 journalists were killed in the Philippines, 2 in Russia and 2 in El Salvador during the first six months of 2016.
One journalist was killed in the following countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Honduras, Libya, Serbia, United States, Somalia and Venezuela.
The PEC strongly condemns those attacks and calls upon the governments to assume their obligations and brings the perpetrators to justice.
Without an independent enquiry it is very difficult to know why the journalists were killed. Around two thirds of journalists were intentionally targeted, while a third was killed in fighting.
This is an alarming trend that a great number of media workers are intentionally eliminated by terrorist organizations in particular by ISIL. From January to June a dozen of them were killed by ISIL in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The Taliban are responsible for the killing of ten journalists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Press freedom has deteriorated in recent months in a number of countries notably in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Turkey and Venezuela. The PEC condemned the arbitrary detention of journalists in Turkey and Egypt and calls for their early release.