from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AT least 30 journalists were killed on duty in 2020, which is more than double the number of the media professionals killed last year.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), this includes 21 reprisal murders, up from ten murders last year.
“It’s appalling that the murders of journalists have more than doubled in the last year,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.
“This escalation represents a failure of the international community to confront the scourge of impunity,” he added.
Countries with significant numbers of murders included Mexico and Afghanistan.
Mexico has long been the most dangerous country for journalists in the Western hemisphere. This year, at least five journalists were killed there.
Worldwide, criminal groups were the most frequently suspected killers of journalists.
Globally, three journalists were killed in combat or crossfire this year, the fewest since 2000, as the COVID-19 pandemic dominated media attention and restricted travel.
All three were killed in Syria by suspected Russian airstrikes. The remaining journalists were killed on other dangerous assignments that turned violent, such as civil unrest in Iraq and Nigeria.
CPJ is still investigating the deaths of at least 15 other journalists this year to determine whether journalism was the motive.
The analysis of journalists killed for their work is based on data as of December 15, 2020.
Simon said the rise of the murder of journalists demonstrated that press freedom was under unprecedented assault amid a global pandemic.
“We must come together to reverse this terrible trend,” he concluded.
– CAJ News