Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Agency Says 109 Journalists Killed on Assignments in 2008

The International Federation of Journalists said today in a report that the killings of journalists worldwide decreased in 2008, but that a wave of killings in the first days of the new year have already given cause for concern for a difficult 2009.

Here is an excerpt of the group's press release:

"The welcome relief brought about by the decline in the killings of journalists in 2008 has been shot lived;" said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary at a press conference to launch the report entitled ‘ Perilous Assignments: Journalists and media personnel killed in 2008'. "Ten colleagues died in January alone and from all regions of the world either in targeted killing or as a direct result of their work."

The IFJ recorded 109 deaths of journalists and media staff in 2008, marking a decrease from the 2007 all time record of 175 deaths.

The IFJ says that the international community still needs to step up to confront the challenge of impunity in the killing of journalists. "We often see politicians, even in democratic countries showing callous indifference to the threats posed by attacks on journalists and media. That must end," said White.

According to the report, Iraq remains the most dangerous countries despite a substantial drop of media casualties from 65 in 2007 to 16 last year. The other dangerous zones were Mexico and India with 10 deaths each.

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