Baghdad: A total of 14 journalists were killed in the violence-ridden Iraq last year, an Iraqi journalists` body said on Tuesday.
The latest body count brings the death toll of journalists in the Middle East country to 406 since the US-led invasion in 2003, Xinhua reported.
According to the report, more than 23 offences had been registered against the journalists during the year, ranging from assassination attempts, detaining, beating and raids on their headquarters and houses to prevent them from reporting.
Such killings and other offences came despite some positive indicators in general, like growing openness shown by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi`s new Iraqi government towards the freedom of the journalistic work, including his decision to drop all pending government lawsuits against journalists and media outlets.
The prevailing atmosphere of democracy, which greatly enhanced the freedom of expression, in addition to the official and popular support to the journalists, were not enough to prevent the series of violence against the journalists, making the journalistic work in Iraq fraught with risks, the report added.