Journalist murders to increase by 50% by 2022: UNESCO — Global Issues

In the recent release free speech report 2021-2022, UNESCO recorded the deaths of 86 journalists last year, one every four days, up from 55 homicides in 2021.

The agency said the findings highlight the serious risks and vulnerabilities that journalists continue to face in the course of their work.

“Authorities must step up their efforts to prevent these crimes and ensure perpetrators are punished because the indifference is a key factor in this atmosphere of violence,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay , described the findings as “alarming”.

No safe space

UNESCO notes that nearly half of all journalists killed are targeted in the line of duty; Some were attacked while traveling, or in parking lots or other public places where they were not on duty, while others were in their homes at the time they were killed.

The report warns that this implies that there is “no safe space for journalists, even when they are idle”.

Despite progress over the past five years, the impunity rate for journalist murders remains “astonishingly high” at 86%. Fighting immunity remains an urgent commitment for which international cooperation must be further mobilized, the organization said.

In addition to killing, journalists in 2022 are also victims of other forms of violence. This includes forced disappearance, kidnapping, arbitrary detention, legal harassment, and digital violence, with women particularly as targets.

UNESCO research highlights the challenges facing journalists, showing that the weaponization of defamation laws, cyber laws and anti-fake news laws is being used as a means of restricting freedoms. speech and create a toxic environment for journalists to operate.

Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists

UNESCO found that Latin America and the Caribbean were the most dangerous regions for journalists by 2022 with 44 homicides, more than half of all homicides worldwide.

Worldwide, the individual countries with the most deaths are Mexico, with 19 homicides, Ukraine with 10 and Haiti with nine. Asia and the Pacific recorded 16 homicides, while 11 were killed in Eastern Europe.

While the number of journalists killed in countries with conflict has increased to 23 in 2022, from 20 the year before, the global increase is mainly due to homicides in countries without conflict. sudden. That number nearly doubled from 35 in 2021 to 61 in 2022, accounting for three-quarters of all homicides last year.

Some of the reasons journalists are killed are retaliation for their coverage of organized crime, armed conflict or the rise of extremism. Others were killed for covering sensitive topics such as corruption, environmental crime, abuse of power and protests.


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