TORONTO, Dec. 30 /CNW/ - Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) recorded the killings of
87 journalists in 2010 as journalists around the world continue to face
great danger while carrying out their work.
Three countries bore the brunt of the killings - Pakistan (14), Mexico
(13) and Honduras (10) which accounts for 43% of journalists murdered
in 2010. The governments of all three countries have failed utterly to
protect the safety of journalists. The countries also share the
parallel problem of impunity - killers of journalists are not being
brought to justice.
The 87 journalists killed this year is a decrease from the 101
journalists killed in 2009, but that figure included the tragic
massacre of 32 journalists on November 23 in the Philippines - the most
journalists ever killed in one day.
"On the surface - the fact that 14 fewer journalists were killed this
year than last year is good news," says CJFE President Arnold Amber.
"But quite obviously many journalists live with this constant threat
just for doing their jobs."
Although the image of a journalist being caught in the crossfire of
conflict is a common one - the reality for most of the 87 journalists
killed this year, as in other years, is that they were deliberately
targeted. And many of them had reported receiving death threats
because of the type of investigative stories they were covering in the
weeks or months before their murders.
The ways in which journalists have been killed are various and paint a
chilling picture of the dangers journalists face. Turkish journalist
Metin Alataş appears to have been forced to commit suicide (April 4);
Mexican journalist Marco Aurelio Martínez Tijerina was kidnapped on
July 9 and found dead July 10 with at least one bullet to the head and
signs of torture; Military officers in the Democratic Republic of Congo
killed journalist Patient Chebeya Bankome at his home (April 5); and
journalists Pervez Khan and Abdul Wahab were killed by a suicide bomber
in Pakistan (December 6).
In one tragic and preventable case, Yemen journalist Mohammed Shu'i
Al-Rabu'i, was killed on February 13, by four or five gunmen who had
been arrested after attacking him a few months earlier but were
released before charges were brought. Security Chief Abdelrazeq
Az-Zareq said that he took "full responsibility" for their release at
the end of 2009.
Many journalists are targeted either at their place of work or at their
home - and there are many reports of police or military involvement.
In Mexico, journalists are targeted by drug traffickers, police and
members of the army. Mexican president Calderon's move to intensify
drug enforcement has seen increased violence and made reporting
significantly more dangerous, causing many journalists to flee the
Also, of great concern is the new trend in Pakistan of suicide bombings
of journalists. Six journalists died from bombings; the other eight
were shot in various attacks. In a Dec. 6 suicide bombing in which
journalists were killed, the journalists were covering an
anti-terrorism strategy discussion at a council meeting in the
northwest Pakistani border town of Ghalanai.
While local journalists continue to face the greatest danger in carrying
out their work, 2010 did see several attacks and killings of foreign
journalists working abroad. These included British journalist Rupert
Hamer in Afghanistan; Tongalese journalist Stanislas Ocloo in Angola;
Italian journalist Fabio Polenghi in Thailand; Turkish journalist
Cevdet Kılıçlar in international waters near Israel; and American
journalist James P. Hunter in Afghanistan.
Kidnappings of journalists, local and foreign continue to be a major
problem especially in Mexico, Pakistan, Nigeria, Somalia and other
nations. Canadian journalist Khadija Abdul Qahaar, also known as
Beverly Giesbrecht, was abducted in Pakistan on Nov. 11, 2008. She
remains missing but there were disturbing reports in November that she
may have died; these reports have not been confirmed.
"In releasing this report, CJFE hopes to draw attention to the risks
that journalists face around the world," Amber stated. "Our
organization is calling on Canadians and the international community to
work together to protect the rights of journalists and to end the
tragic culture of impunity which allows most murders of journalists to
CJFE records the number of journalists that are killed or targeted in
the line of duty because of their reporting or affiliation with a news
organization. CJFE compiles its statistics from the reports of the more
than 90 member groups that make up the International Freedom of
Expression Exchange (IFEX). The IFEX Clearinghouse which gathers and
disseminates information from the network is managed by CJFE and based
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is an association of
more than 300 journalists, editors, publishers, producers, students and
others who work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom
in Canada and abroad. www.cjfe.org.
SOURCE Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
For further information: For further information:
For more information or to speak to a CJFE spokesperson, please contact CJFE Manager, Julie Payne at (647) 975-0629.