‘Journalists` death toll soars in covering unrest’

At least 90 journalists have been killed doing their job so far this year, a 25 per cent increase on the same period of 2009, the media watchdog Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) said today.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 22:55 PM IST

Geneva: At least 90 journalists have been
killed doing their job so far this year, a 25 per cent
increase on the same period of 2009, the media watchdog Press
Emblem Campaign (PEC) said today.

"This is a failure, there is no progress, and the
situation instead is deteriorating," a statement quoted the
group`s secretary-general Blaise Lempen as saying.

"Lempen called upon the media associations worldwide
to become more active and that governments act in firmness to
prevent crimes against journalists and fight against
impunity," it added.

"He stressed that it is becoming essential to launch
the process concerning an international convention to protect
journalists to strengthen existing laws."

According to the PEC Mexico remains the most dangerous
country, with 13 journalists killed in the ongoing battles
between the army and drug cartels in nine months.

It is followed by Honduras and Pakistan, with nine
deaths each.

"A number of journalists were targeted and executed in
the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which
makes it one of the most dangerous regions for media work,"
the PEC said.

Five journalists were killed in Iraq since January, "a
marked deterioration after a period of calm", another five in
Russia`s North Caucasus region "as a result of settling
accounts", and the same number in the Philippines.

Three journalists were killed in Colombia, Indonesia,
Nepal, Nigeria and Somalia, and two in Angola, India,
Thailand, Uganda, Venezuela and Afghanistan, where two
reporters from a French television station have also been held
captive.

One journalist was killed in Argentina, Bangladesh,
Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroun, Cyprus, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Greece, Ecuador, Lebanon, Rwanda, Turkey,
Ukraine and Yemen, the PEC said.

A Turkish journalist was also killed when Israeli
forces boarded a Turkish-led aid flotilla heading for the Gaza
strip.

Regionally, Latin America saw 30 journalists killed in
nine months, followed by Asia with 27, Africa with 13 in what
the PEC called "a marked deterioration", and the Middle East
with eight.

"Europe has witnessed worrying isolated cases of
targeting journalists in seven countries leading to the death
of 12 journalists this year," the report said.

PTI