RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace”

6 months ago Web Desk 0

RSF tallied 50 cases of journalists killed in connection with their work from January 1 to December 15, 2020, a number similar to 2019 (when 53 journalists were killed), although fewer journalists have been in the field this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Of all the journalists killed in connection with their work in 2020, 84% were knowingly targeted and deliberately murdered, as compared to 63% in 2019. Some were reportedly murdered in a particularly barbaric manner.


Mexico was the deadliest country, with eight killed. “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 says.


Five journalists were reportedly killed in war-torn Afghanistan, it said, noting an increase in targeted attacks on media workers in recent months even as peace talks between the government and Taliban are ongoing.


RSF also highlighted the case of Iranian opposition figure Ruhollah Zam, who ran a popular social media channel that rallied regime opponents, and who was executed in December.


According to the report, his execution “confirms Iran’s record as a country that has officially put the most journalists to death in the past half-century.”


2020 has reportedly also seen a 35% increase in the number of women journalists arbitrarily detained, and a fourfold increase in arrests of journalists during the first three months of COVID-19’s spread around the world. Fourteen journalists who were arrested in connection with their coverage of the pandemic are still being held.


Source: Asia Plus