Syria and Iraq most dangerous places for journalists


Published: 2017-12-19 17:05

Last Updated: 2017-12-19 17:05

World Press Freedom
World Press Freedom
Roya News Source

Syria and Iraq are among the worst places in the world for Jordans, and 65 journalists and media have been killed worldwide in 2017, according to an annual report published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday.

According to RSF, 26 were killed in the course of their work as victims of collateral damage, including in airstrikes, artillery bombardment of suicide bombing, while, another 39 were murdered in deliberate targeted attacks.

Syria remains the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, according to RSF said, with 12 reporters killed, followed by Mexico where 11 were assassinated.

Meanwhile in Iraq, eight journalists, including local and foreign reporters, were killed in targeted attacks by the Islamic State group.

This includes Iraqi Kurdish journalist Bakhtiyar Haddad, who was killed alongside French journalist Stephan Villeneuve and Swiss Véronique Robert in Mosul.

Nine journalists were killed in Afghanistan in three different attacks this year, including professional journalists and seven media workers, the report said.

American freelance reporter Christopher Allen was killed in South Sudan after being shot in the head during clashes between the South Sudanese army and members of the SPLA-IO rebel group.

However, the overall number of professional reporters killed globally has fallen to its lowest number in 14 years, RSF noted.

RSF suggested this may be because journalists were now being better trained and protected for war zones.

"The downward trend is also due to journalists abandoning countries that have become too dangerous," it added.

"Countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya have been haemorrhaging journalists." But the trend is not confined to countries at war, RSF added.

Meanwhile, Turkey is the world's biggest prison for professional journalists, the figures show, with 42 reporters and one media worker behind bars.

"Criticising the government, working for a 'suspect' media outlet, contacting a sensitive source or even just using an encrypted messaging service all constitute grounds for jailing journalists on terrorism charges," the report said.

RSF also note the fate of journalists held hostage “by non-state actors that threaten to kill or injure them, or continue to hold them as means of pressure on a third party (a government, organisation, or group) with the aim of forcing the third party to take a particular action.”

The number of journalists currently held has increased by 4 percent, 96 percent of which are held in the Middle East.