The research published to coincide with World Press Freedom Day shows that “a total of 21 journalists, and 6 netizens and citizen journalists have been killed since the start of 2012, many of them in war zones such as Somalia and Syria. This is a rate of one news provider killed ever five days.”
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation condemned the killing of 62 journalists last year. Over the past five years, the organisation has condemned the unlawful deaths of a total of 372 journalists.
Amnesty analysed Reporters Without Borders’ statistics to find that the most dangerous countries to be a journalist were Pakistan, Mexico, Philippines, Brazil and Russia. 71 journalists were kidnapped last year alone and over 1,000 were arrested. UNESCO compiled their own report on the subject with a complete breakdown of how many journalists have been reported killed throughout the world since 2006.
Last month UN approved a plan of action on the safety of journalists. The common strategy, which was endorsed on 13 April by the UN Chief Executives Board, aims to create “a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers in both conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development worldwide.”
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, told the board that “the safety of journalists is essential to upholding Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that guarantees the right to freedom of expression.”
Over the next three days UNESCO will celebrate World Press Freedom Day (3 May) with an event in Tunis. Their three-day programme of events focuses on the role of media as a catalyst for social and political change.
One of the highlights of the day will be the award ceremony for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. This year’s laureate, Azerbaijani journalist and human rights activist Eynulla Fatullayev, will attend the ceremony.
To find out more about Press Freedom Day click here.