Geneva: Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, has been appalled by the large number of journalists killed in the first six months of 2022. The year-on-year increase is 100% with 72 victims in 18 countries since January compared to 36 deaths in the same period last year. By 2021, 79 media workers were killed and 92 by 2020 for the whole year.
“There must be no impunity. All these crimes must be fully investigated without exception. In light of this very worrying deterioration, PEC has renewed its call to the United Nations for the adoption of an international convention strengthening the protection of journalists with investigation and prosecution mechanisms,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch).
The war in Ukraine and the rampant criminality in Mexico are the main reasons for this alarming deterioration. With 4 journo-casualties, India comes after Ukraine and Mexico. Pakistan, Haiti and Yemen
followed with 3 killed in each country. PEC recorded 2 victims in Bangladesh, Brazil, Honduras, Israel/Palestine and the Philippines, and 1 victim in Myanmar, Turkey, Chad, Chile, Guatemala, Kazakhstan and the United States.
In Ukraine, the conflict triggered by Russia has claimed 30 victims (in 4 months) among media workers, 16 in the line of duty and 14 journalists killed in fighting as soldiers or volunteers in the army.
Russian and Ukrainian authorities must ensure that journalists are not targeted while covering the ongoing fighting and that they can work freely. Mexico in the last six months witnessed 12 media victims that exceeds the total figure (10 killed) for 2021.
PEC’s south & southeast Asia representative Nava Thakuria informs that the entire region continues to be hazardous for working journalists, where the scribes are being targeted with impunity. India witnessed the killings of Rohit Kumar Biswal, Sudhir Saini, Juned Khan Pathan and Subhash Kumar Mahato in the first half of 2022, while Pakistan loses media workers Hasnain Shah, Murtaza Shar and Athar Mateen.
Bangladesh lost Mohiuddin Sarker Nayeem and Abdul Bari, while the Philippines lost Jhannah Villegas and Jaynard Angeles to assailants and Myanmar witnessed the death of Pu Tui Dim in military atrocities.