Vienna: Fifty-two journalists lost their
lives in the first eight months of this year because of their
jobs - four fewer than during the same period of 2009, a
global media watchdog said on Sunday.
Mexico led the so-called Death Watch with 10
fatalities through the end of August, followed by Honduras
with nine and Pakistan with six, the International Press
"Journalists continue to systematically lose their
lives to conflict, militants, paid thugs, governments, drug
dealers, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous security officers,
and others," the group`s interim director, Alison Bethel
McKenzie, said at an IPI meeting in Vienna that has drawn more
than 300 media staff from around the globe.
The Vienna-based institute`s list includes journalists
killed on the job or targeted because of what they did for a
living. During all of last year, 110 journalists perished due
to their profession, IPI said.
So far this year the Americas have represented the
most dangerous region for reporters, with 20 deaths including
one in Colombia in addition to those in Mexico and Honduras.
IPI considers the region to include North, South and Central
America, and tracks the Caribbean separately.
Asia came in second with 18 deaths. Aside from the six
killed in Pakistan, three reporters were fatally shot in the
Philippines. Two others were killed in Afghanistan - Rupert
Hamer, a reporter for Britain`s Sunday Mirror, and James P
Hunter, a staff sergeant and journalist in the US Army. Other
deaths were recorded in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and India.
Africa saw eight fatalities in the first two-thirds of
the year: two each in Somalia and Nigeria, and one each in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Cameroon and Angola.
In the Middle East, two reporters were killed in Iraq
- both after being abducted. In Lebanon, a reporter died as he
covered clashes between Israeli and Lebanese forces in August.
Another was shot dead in Yemen in February.
Europe saw two killings. One of the victims was a
Greek radio director who was gunned down outside his home and
the other was the director of a Russian television station who
died in May on his way to fix equipment damaged by militants.