For the fourth time in five years, Mexico heads the list of countries with the most murdered journalists. As of December 30, the International Federation of Journalists recorded 60 killings of journalists and media personnel.
MEXICO CITY (EUROPA PRESS) – The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) announced that Mexico heads the list of countries with the highest number of journalists killed for the fourth time in five years.
The IFJ, to which the Federation of Associations of Journalists of Spain (FAPE) belongs, detailed that Asia-Pacific was the most dangerous region, with 27 murders, followed by Latin America with 17, the Arab countries and the Middle East with 8 deaths, 6 murders in Africa and 2 in Europe.
In terms of countries, India follows Mexico on the list, with 8 murders, Afghanistan and Pakistan with 7, the Philippines and Syria with 4, Iraq and Nigeria with 3, Somalia with 2, as well as 1 murder in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, Paraguay, Russia, Sweden, and Yemen.
Until December 30, the IFJ registered 60 murders of journalists and media personnel in 2020 in selective attacks, bomb explosions, and crossfire incidents in 16 countries globally, which means 11 victims more than in 2019. Since 1990, the IFJ has recorded 2,676 killings of journalists worldwide.
According to FAPE, IFJ records show that the current number of media professionals’ killings are at the same levels as in 1990 when the IFJ began publishing annual reports on journalists and media staff killed. The highest records were in the mid-1990s and mid-2000s.
Organized crime cartels, an insurgency of extremists, and sectarian violence continue to terrorize journalists, dozens of whom have paid the ultimate price for independent reporting worldwide.
“The year 2020 has been no exception,” FAPE noted. “The ruthless reign of organized crime in Mexico, the violence of extremists in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia, as well as the intolerance of hardliners in India and the Philippines, have all contributed to the continuing bloodshed in the media,” the federation lamented.
In particular, this year’s list includes the murder of Russian journalist Irina Slavina, a case that highlighted the level of despair and utter discouragement at the attack on media professionals. The editor of Koza Press set herself on fire in the city of Nijni-Novgorod to protest the campaign of intimidation and harassment to silence her. Slavina died, but not before blaming the authorities for her action, FAPE explained.
“The trends in our publications over the past 30 years, but also in 2020, make it clear to everyone that there is no room for complacency. On the contrary, they are an urgent call to redouble our mobilization efforts for greater protection of journalists and commitment to the safe exercise of journalism,” said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger.
EU calls on China for the immediate release of Zhang Zhan.
The European Union demanded from China the “immediate” release of citizen journalist Zhang Zhan. The former lawyer was sentenced to four years in prison for publishing information about the chaos in the city of Wuhan after the outbreak of coronavirus that would later spread worldwide.
Zhang Dhan was sentenced from 28 to 4 years in prison by a Shanghai court after authorities understood that the information she had spread about the pandemic’s early stages could jeopardize social stability.
The EU warned that “credible sources” also point out that Zhang may have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment during his detention and that “his health condition has seriously deteriorated.”
In this regard, it called for the “immediate” release of Zhang and other human rights activists and defenders who have been detained in recent months, as well as people who have been identified for reporting activities in the “public interest.”
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