by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AFRICA recorded the lowest number of deaths of journalists than any other region in 2022.
The continent suffered four deaths- two each in Chad and Somalia- during the period, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The death toll is behind the Americas (30), Asia Pacific (16), Europe (13) and Middle East and Arab World (5) as 68 journalists were killed during the past year.
This is compared to 47 previous year – a reversal of the decline recorded in recent years.
“These numbers show that there is no end to the safety crisis in journalism,” said IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger.
He added, “…and, instead, (figures) represent a real threat of the return to the open season on media professionals in many parts of the world.”
In Chad, radio journalists, Evariste Djai – Loramdji and Oredje Narcisse, died in the line of duty in February and October respectively.
Somalia’s television journalist, Ahmed Mohamed Shukur, died in September and compatriot, and freelancer, Mohamed Isse Hassan, lost his life in October.
Bellanger said the surge in the killings of journalists and other media workers is a grave cause of concern and yet another wake up call for governments across the globe to take action in the defence of journalism, one of the key pillars of democracy.
“The failure to act will only embolden those who seek to suppress the free flow of information and undermine the ability of people to hold their leaders to account.”
– CAJ News