Geneva: Fifty-nine journalists have been
killed because of their work in the first six months of this
year, up from 53 for the same period last year, the Press
Emblem Campaign said on Monday.
The highest toll was in Mexico, where nine were killed in
the six months to June because organised crime was "hunting
journalists", the Geneva-based non-government organisation
said in a statement.
The other most dangerous countries for the media were
Honduras, where eight journalists were killed, Pakistan (six),
Nigeria (four) and the Philippines (four).
PEC secretary general Blaise Lempen said in the statement
that journalists "are extremely exposed in countries which
witness internal problems".
Lempen said "governments and the international community
must act in firmness to stop those killings and bring the
perpetrators of those crimes to justice".
Three journalists were killed in Russia, three in
Colombia and two in Iraq, Nepal, Thailand and Venezuela.
One journalist was killed in Afghanistan, Angola,
Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Cyprus, Ecuador,
Israel, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Turkey, Somalia
Lempen said the reasons for the killings varied from the
organised crime in Mexico to tribal tensions in Pakistan and
Nigeria, and settling political disputes in the Philippines,
the Russian Caucasus and in Nepal.
The organisation, which campaigns for better protection
for journalists in conflict zones, also noted that two French
TV journalists had been captured for more than six months in
It "deplores the dangers to which journalists are
subjected to because of their work, which includes hostage
taking," the statement said.
Last year, a record 122 journalists were killed because
of their profession and 91 in 2008, said the group, which
keeps a tally of the deaths on its www.pressemblem.ch website.