50 journalists killed in 2020, most of them deliberately targeted

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recently published their Round-up 2020 on journalists killed which says 50 were killed in connection with their work.

Image/NJUP Facebook page

Of the 50 killed, 84 percent, or 42 journalists were murdered or deliberately targeted–some were murdered in a particularly gruesome manner, especially in Mexico and India, where journalists
were beheaded, cut into pieces, or hacked to death with machetes.

Eight were killed while reporting.

Of note, RSF reports that more journalists are being killed in countries considered to be “at peace.” In 2016, 58% of media fatalities took place in war zones. Now only 32% of the fatalities are in war-torn countries such as Syria or Yemen or in countries with low or medium-intensity conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iraq. In other words, 68% (more than two thirds) of the fatalities are in countries “at peace,” above all Mexico (with eight journalists killed), India (four), the Philippines (three) and Honduras (three).

Many of the murder victims were journalists working on sensitive subjects. This year, four journalists
were murdered while investigating the activities of organized crime groups; ten were murdered in
connection with their investigations into cases of local corruption or misuse of public funds; and three were murdered while working on subjects linked to environmental issues (such as illegal mining or land-grabbing).

Seven journalists were killed while covering protests in Iraq (four), Nigeria (two) and Colombia (one).

Mexico led all countries with the most journalists killed with 8.

The number of journalists killed over the past 10 years has climbed to 937.

Lastly, RSF reported that 387 journalists are currently detained in connection with their work–detained, held hostage or missing at the end of the year.

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