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Journalists also in danger in countries at peace

With 50 deaths recorded, the past year has been fatal for the profession. This finding is all the more worrying as nearly seven out of ten journalists were killed in areas not at war, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced on Tuesday.

With 50 deaths recorded, the past year has been fatal for the profession. This finding is all the more worrying as nearly seven out of ten journalists were killed in areas not at war, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced on Tuesday.

(ASdN with AFP) – This is a very sad observation made by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) at the end of the year. Despite the drop in the number of reports due to the health pandemic, 50 journalists still lost their lives in 2020. If this number remains stable compared to 2019, they are however more and more numerous to be “murdered in country at peace ”, underlines the NGO in its annual report published on Tuesday.

In fact, between January 1 and December 15, 68% of the men and women killed this year while exercising their profession were outside any war zone.

The proportion of journalists killed in conflict zones therefore continues to fall, dropping from 58% in 2016 to 32% this year in countries like Syria and Yemen or “areas mined by low and medium intensity conflicts” ( Afghanistan, Iraq). Mexico nevertheless remains the deadliest country for the profession with eight killed, followed by India (4), Pakistan (4), the Philippines (3) and Honduras (3).

Note, out of all the journalists killed in 2020, 84% were knowingly targeted and deliberately eliminated, notes RSF, against 63% in 2019. “Some were killed in particularly barbaric conditions”, also underlines the NGO. Like the Mexican journalist Julio Valdivia Rodriguez of the daily El Mundo de Veracruz, found beheaded in the east of the state, and his colleague Victor Fernando Alvarez Chavez, editor of a local news site, cut to pieces in the city of Acapulco.

On the other side of the planet, in India, journalist Rakesh Singh “Nirbhik” was “burned alive after being sprayed with highly flammable hydroalcoholic gel, while journalist Isravel Moses, correspondent for a television station in the Tamil Nadu, was killed with a machete, ”reports RSF. In Iran, it was the state that sentenced to death and then executed by hanging the administrator of the Telegram Amadnews channel, Rouhollah Zam.

However, some topics are traditionally more dangerous to cover than others. Thus, of the nearly twenty investigative journalists who were killed this year, ten were investigating cases of local corruption and embezzlement of public funds, four on the Mafia and organized crime and three on subjects related to questions. environmental. RSF also notes the deaths of seven journalists covering demonstrations in Iraq, Nigeria and Colombia, a “new fact”, underlines the NGO.

As a reminder, in the first part of its annual report, published in mid-December, RSF had also identified 387 imprisoned journalists, “a historically high number”. The International Federation of Journalism had for its part listed 2,658 journalists killed since 1990.


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