Thursday, December 31, 2009

76 Journalists Killed Worldwide in 2009: Report

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The Daily Star

A total of 76 journalists were killed in different types of violence across the world in 2009, Reporters Without Borders said in its 2009 annual report. Wars and elections constituted the chief threat to journalists in 2009, the report said. Numbers of journalists killed up by 26 percent in 2009 than the previous year. In the 2008, 60 journalists were killed. Almost every journalist killed in 2009 died in his or her own country. Moreover, 33 journalists were kidnapped, 573 arrested, 1456 physically assaulted, 570 media censored, 157 journalists fled their countries, 1 blogger died in prison, 151 bloggers and cyber-dissidents arrested and 60 countries affected by online censorship in 2009, the organisation said in its report published on December 30. The profession is becoming more and more risky to cover wars as journalists themselves are being targeted and face the possibility of being murdered or kidnapped, the report added. Violence before and after elections was particularly prevalent in 2009 in countries with poor democratic credentials.

Our major concern in 2009 has been the mass exodus of journalists from repressive countries such as Iran and Sri Lanka, the report said. Reporters Without Borders is an international non-governmental organisation that aims at defending journalists and media assistants imprisoned or persecuted for doing their job and exposes the mistreatment and torture of them in many countries. The two appalling events marked 2009 are-- the largest ever massacre of journalists in a single day – a total of 30 killed – by the private militia of a governor in the southern Philippines and the other was an unprecedented wave of arrests and convictions of journalists and bloggers in Iran following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection. A total of around 160 journalists in all continents were forced to go into exile to escape prison or death, often in very dangerous circumstances.