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According to an annual round-up by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in 2020 at least 50 journalists and media workers have been killed worldwide and the vast majority were in countries considered to be “at peace”.
Ten journalists were killed after publishing investigations into cases of local corruption or misuse of public funds. Four killed for their stories on organised crime. Meanwhile seven journalists were killed while covering protests.
As a result, Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of RSF, said in a statement:“Some may think that journalists are just the victims of the risks of their profession, but journalists are increasingly targeted when they investigate or cover sensitive subjects.What is being attacked is the right to be informed, which is everyone’s right”.
In addition, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported 2020 to be the worst year on record for the imprisonment of journalists. In fact at least 274 journalists went to jail.
For instance, Chinese journalist Zhang Zhan was jailed for four years for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. He sent dispatches from Wuhan during the chaotic initial stages of the outbreak.
The deadliest countries
Mexico was the deadliest nation for journalists in 2020, with eight reporters killed.
“The links between drug traffickers and politicians remain, and journalists who dare to cover these or related issues continue to be the targets of barbaric murders,” the report said.
Iraq was the second-deadliest country, with six deaths, followed by Afghanistan, with five. India and Pakistan were an equal fourth, each reporting the deaths of four journalists.
Above all, in Iran, it was the state that acted as executioner. Rouhollah Zam, the editor of the Amadnews website and Telegram news channel, was hanged on December 12 after being sentenced to death in an unfair trial.
Although executions are common in Iran, it was the first time in 30 years that a journalist has been subjected to this archaic and barbaric practice.
Among all, two of the 50 people killed worldwide were women.
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