PFUJ world report
2,187 mediapersons killed in 10 years
Pakistan among top countries where killing of mediapersons has become a frequent feature
ISLAMABAD, October 1, 2010: Covering the news has always been dangerous, but in the aftermath of the intervention of US-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan immediately after 9/11 incident of New York, killing of mediapersons during duty has become order of the day.
Not less than 2,187 mediapersons lost their lives between January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2010, in 106 out of 203 countries of the world while doing their professional assignments.
During the same period, 14 female journalists also lost their lives while discharging their duties.
This has been observed in an in-depth study conducted by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) about killing of media-related employees, including journalists, throughout the world.
The study, which was released by the PFUJ Secretariat in Islamabad, says that 66 mediapersons have already been killed throughout the world, including 10 mediapersons killed in Pakistan and 6 in Honduras.
It was also observed that journalists and critical news gathering support staff -- translators, fixers, drivers and the like -- have died covering stories during this period. Out of which, many died on international battlefields or on assignment relating to natural disasters.
Most fell in their home countries as they covered corruption, crime, unrest and other dangerous stories.
The majority were murdered by elements who feared exposure of illegal activities. The free flow of information on which enlightened societies depend for efficient government, business and public education, is constricted whenever journalists are killed, beaten, threatened and forced to work in fear of their safety and that of their families.
The study observed very shocking statistics, which indicated that Iraq, Pakistan, the Philippines, Cambodia, the Netherlands, Rwanda, India, Haiti, Afghanistan and Mexico were the top ten countries where killing of mediapersons had become a frequent feature.
It was also noticed that minimum deaths occurred in Armenia, Burundi, Brazil, Canada, Dagestan, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Israel, Kuwait, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Australia, Gambia, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, where only one mediaperson in each country was killed.
There are also 97 countries of the world in which no killing of mediapersons came to light.
Out of the total killings, a maximum of 98 was chance murders, followed by 65 target killings and 62 in bomb blasts.
Iraq remained at the top throughout the period (2000-2010) with 510 mediapersons killed followed by Pakistan where the number of the mediapersons killed was 162.
One of the most horrible incidents occurred in Maguindanao, southern Philippines, on November 22 in 2009 in which as many as 30 journalists were massacred. In that incident, it was noticed that gunmen ambushed a caravan of political supporters and journalists on their way to file election papers, killing at least 30 media persons.
There are five countries in which only one journalist each was killed in the whole decade. There are 13 countries where two journalists each were killed.