The Swiss NGO Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) denounced on Monday the death of 105 journalists in 33 countries during 2010.
According to the PEC report, some 529 journalists were killed over a period of 5 years, 2 per week on average.
However, 2010 was better than 2009 which witnessed the killing of 122 journalists, and this high tally resulted from the unprecedented massacre of journalists in the Philippines. But the 2010 figure of 105 journalists killed is still higher than that of 2008, which stood at 91.
PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen noted that “the killing of journalists has become an epidemic with no cure.
“The International Community has not found solutions to it, or put in place effective mechanisms for bringing the perpetrators of those crimes against journalists to trial,” said Lempen.
According to the PEC, the two most dangerous countries for media work are Mexico and Pakistan. “In Mexico, 14 journalists were killed in the drug war. Another 14 journalists were killed in Pakistan, the majority of which in border areas with Afghanistan,” said the report.
Nine journalists were killed in Honduras which places the country as third in the ranking of the most dangerous for journalists, and 8 journalists were killed in Iraq since the beginning of the year. Six media workers were also killed in the Philippines, 5 in Russia, 4 in Columbia, followed by Brazil and Nigeria with 4 journalists killed in each country.
In Somalia, Indonesia, and Nepal three journalists were killed in each country. Two journalists were killed in Afghanistan, where 2 French TV journalists were taken hostage since almost a year ago by a Taliban group in one of the worst episodes in media hostage taking.
In Angola, Thailand, India, Venezuela, and Uganda two journalists were killed in each country, 15 other journalists were killed in Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cameroun, Cyprus, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Lebanon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yemen.
One Turkish journalist was killed in international waters when the Israeli forces attacked the peace flotilla heading to Gaza.
The PEC considers Latin America as “the most dangerous place for journalists with a tally of 35 journalists killed during the year. Asia comes second with 33, Africa in third place with 14 killed, and 11 in the Middle East. Europe accounts for 12 journalists killed in 2010.”
In five years, since the beginning of 2006, according to the PEC Ticking Clock flagged on its website, 529 journalists were killed: 105 in 2010, 122 in 2009, 91 in 2008, 115 in 2007, and 96 in 2006.
During the period 2006-2010, Iraq topped the world as the most dangerous country with 127 journalists killed. Another 59 were killed in the Philippines, 47 in Mexico, 38 in Pakistan, making those 4 countries the burial place of more than half of the journalists killed worldwide, said the PEC.
Moreover, 23 were killed in Somalia, 21 in Russia, 19 in Columbia, 15 in Sri Lanka, 14 in Afghanistan, 14 in India, and 14 in Honduras. Nepal stands as 12th with 9 journalists killed, and 7 were killed in DRC, Venezuela, and Nigeria each.
Six more were killed in 5 years in Thailand, 5 by Israel in Gaza, 5 in Georgia, 4 in Indonesia, 4 in Guatemala, 4 in Angola, 3 in Lebanon, and many more in other countries.
PEC President Hedayat Abdel Nabi says that the figures speak for themselves and it is time to put the act together of all concerned parties to inaugurate 2011 with a courageous step from member states and media organizations to start the deliberations on a legal instrument to protect journalists.
“Lets move together in 2011 to achieve a well-deserved bold step for journalists; 2011 could be the target date, then or never,” says Abdel Nabi.