Over 2,187 media-persons killed in line of duty world: PFUJ 'Pakistan Times' Federal Bureau
ISLAMABAD: Covering the news has always been dangerous, but in the aftermath of the intervention of US led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan immediately after 9/11 incident of New York, killing of media persons during duty has become order of the day, said a study conducted by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).
“Not less than 2,187 media persons lost their lives between January 1, 2000 to Sept 30, 2010 in 106 out of 203 countries of the world while performing their professional assignments.During the same period 14 female journalists also lost their lives in line of their duties,” the study revealed.
The study which was released by the PFUJ Secretariat on Thursday, said that during 9 months of the current year, 66 media persons have been killed throughout the world, including 10 in Pakistan and 6 in Honduras. It was also observed that journalists and critical news gathering support staff – translators, fixers, drivers and the like – have died covering stories during this period out of which many died on international battlefields or on assignment relating to natural disasters.
“Most fell in their home countries as they covered corruption, crime, unrest and other dangerous stories”, the study said. The majority were murdered by elements that feared exposure of illegal activities. The free flow of information on which enlightened societies depend for efficient government, business and public education, is constricted whenever journalists are killed, beaten, threatened and forced to work in fear of their safety and that of their families.
The study observed very shocking statistics which indicated that Iraq, Pakistan, Philippines, Cambodia, Netherland, Rwanda, India, Haiti, Afghanistan and Mexico were the top ten countries where killing of media persons had become a frequent feature. It was also noticed that minimum deaths occurred in Armenia, Burundi, Brazil, Canada, Dagestan, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Israel, Kuwait, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Australia, Gambia, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, where only one media person in each country was killed. There are also 97 countries of the world in which no killing of media persons came to light.
Out of the total killings, a maximum of 98 was chance murdered, followed by 65 target killing and 62 by bomb blasts. Iraq remained at the top throughout the period (2000-2010) with 510 media persons killed followed by Pakistan where the number of the media-persons killed was 162.
One of the most horrible incidents occurred in Maguindanao, Southern Philippines on November 22 in 2009 in which as many as 30 journalists were massacred. In that incident it was noticed that “Gunmen ambushed a caravan of political supporters and journalists on their way to file election papers, killing at least 30 media persons. There are five countries in which for whole the decade only one journalist each was killed. There are 13 countries where two journalists each were killed.