122 Journalists around the World lost their lives to targeted Killings, Natural Disasters and Accidents

IFJ is an international federation of Journalists’ trade unions which represents more than 6,00,000 journalists from 140 countries

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FILE - In this Sunday, July 31, 2011 file photo, Taliban fighters hold their heavy and light weapons before surrendering them to Afghan authorities in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. VOA

January 1, 2017:  2016 was a tough year for journalists around the globe. Around 122 journalists and media professionals lost their lives to targeted killings or in natural disasters and accidents. India witnessed the death of 5 scribes and was in the eighth position on a list, which was topped by Iraq.

According to the annual report of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), countries like Africa, Middle Ease and Arab World regions, Asia Pacific, Europe and the America witnessed targeted killings including murders, crossfire incidents and bomb attacks.

The IFJ said that Iraq has the highest number of media killings. With 15 targeted killings, it is ahead of Afghanistan and Mexico with 13 and 11 killings respectively. Next on the list is Yemen with 8, Guatemala and Syria with 6, India and Pakistan with 5 killings. India, Pakistan, Yemen and Syria saw no or little change in the number of targeted killings from 2015, mentioned PTI.

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According to the statistics published by the largest global federation of Journalists’ trade unions, in addition to 93 targeted killings, 20 Brazilian sports journalists died in a plane crash in Medellin, Colombia.

Although the number of targeted killings of journalists in 2016 was less from the previous years’, the IFJ warned against reports of rising threats, intimidation and self-censorship. These acts attack freedom of expression, mentioned PTI.

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According to the report, in India, Bureau Chief of Jan Sandesh Times, Tarun Mishra, died on 14th February. Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan, Rajdeo Ranjan, on 13th May; Journalist with TaazaTV, Indradev Yadav died on 16th May; Bureau Chief of Jai Hind, Kishore Dave on 22nd August and Correspondent of Dainik Bhaskar, Dharmendra Singh, on 12th November. India has 6 reports of targeted killings of media professionals in 2015 including journalists from Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran and news channel Aaj Tak.

According to PTI, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, “Any decrease in violence against journalists and media staff is always welcome but these statistics and the continued deliberate targeting of media workers in many incidents causing loss of life give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis.”

IFJ has recorded at least 2,297 killings of journalists in cross-fire incidents, bomb attacks and targeted assassinations till 2015.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53