RSF: 49 Journalists were Killed in 2019, Many are Behind Bars
Journalists' deaths are at "historically low levels" globally, according to a report by Reporters Without Borders, quoted by AFP.
Most journalists killed in 2019 covered military conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan, say the Paris-based organization and recall that journalism remains a dangerous profession.
Over the past two decades, an average of 80 journalists have been killed each year.
But Reporters Without Borders director Christophe Deloire recalled that the number of those killed in countries “at peace” remain worrying. Such a country is Mexico, where 10 journalists were killed in 2019.
"More and more journalists are being deliberately murdered in connection with their work in democratic countries, which poses a real challenge for the democracies where these journalists live and work,” RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire warned, RFERL reported.
"Latin America, with a total of 14 reporters killed across the continent, has become as deadly as the Middle East," says Deloire.
"While the conflict zones are killing fewer of us, more and more journalists are being assassinated for their work in democratic countries, which is a real challenge to democracy" says the head of Reporters Without Borders.
And while fewer journalists have died, the number of those behind bars is increasing.
In 2019, 389 journalists entered the prison, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year.
"China, which has intensified its repression of the [mostly Muslim] Uighur minority, alone holds a third of the journalists locked up in the world," says Christophe Deloire.
A total of 57 journalists are currently held hostage in the world, mainly in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Ukraine.
Despite the development of the situation in Syria, "there has been no notable freeing of hostages this year", Deloire said.
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