Although fewer journalists are dying, more are being detained, according to Reporters Without Borders.
FORTY NINE JOURNALISTS were killed in 2019, Reporters Without Borders said this week, the lowest death toll in 16 years.
Reporters who died this year mostly died covering conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan, the Paris-based watchdog said, which warned that “journalism remains a dangerous profession”.
Some 80 journalists a year have lost their lives on average over the last two decades, said the organisation.
Yet Christophe Deloire, head of Reporters Without Borders, warned that the number of journalists murdered in countries supposedly at peace was still alarmingly high, with 10 dying in Mexico.
“Latin America, with a total of 14 reporters killed across the continent, has become as deadly as the Middle East,” he added.
While he said that the fall in the number of fatalities in conflict zones was something positive, “more and more journalists are being assassinated for their work in democratic countries, which is a real challenge to democracy.”
Although fewer journalists are dying, more are ending up detained, according to the organisation.
Some 389 were jailed in 2019, up 12% from last year.
Nearly half were imprisoned in three countries – China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which was blamed for the gruesome murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi at its embassy in Istanbul last year.
“China, which has intensified its repression of the (mostly Muslim) Uighur minority, alone holds a third of the journalists locked up in the world,” Reporters Without Borders said.
Manwhile, 57 journalists are being held hostage across the world, mostly in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Ukraine.
“There has been no notable freeing of hostages this year despite major developments in Syria,” the organisation said, which has led it to fear for the worst for many of those abducted.
© – AFP 2019
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.