One journalist killed every fourth day, show UN data


The death of Pakistani investigative journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya has escalated tensions in the neighbouring country. Sharif was shot dead by Kenyan police, which they claim was a case of mistaken identity. However, the fact that he’d fled Pakistan after a controversial interview with a PTI leader has raised suspicions of an ISI hit. 

Sharif’s death adds to the growing list of journalists killed in the line of duty over the years in different corners of the world. Take Mexico for example, where over one dozen journalists have been killed this year alone – some by cartels and some by suspected law enforcers. Journalists also pay with their lives and limbs in conflict zones – whether in the Middle East, Africa, or in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. 

The United Nations has proclaimed November 2 as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. As per UNESCO data, 1,564 journalists have been killed across the world since 1993. Between 2011 and 2021, a total of 956 journalists were killed in some corners of the globe. Another 2,653 journalists were imprisoned in the same period. This translates to one journalist being killed every fourth day and two journalists being imprisoned every third day!

Iraq has turned out to be a graveyard for journalists with 201 fatalities since 1993. It is followed by Mexico (150), the Philippines (115), and Syria (113); India reported 54 fatalities in the same period. Pakistan (90) witnessed more journalist killings than even conflict-ridden Afghanistan (81), with the latter reporting half of those in only three years (2016-18). The Russia-Ukraine war, on the other hand, has so far claimed over one dozen journalists.

In India, the states of Uttar Pradesh (12) and Bihar (9) have reported the most killings of journalists. The latest killing was of local journalist Subhash Kumar Mahto at Sakho village in Bihar’s Begusarai district. Mahto was shot dead by miscreants outside his home on May 20 this year. 

According to UNESCO, only 13 percent of journalist killings since 2006 have been solved. Also, the percentage of women journalists killed has seen a steady rise. Some 11 percent of journalists killed in 2021 and 2022 (till September 30) were women, up from 6 percent in 2020. 

The Covid-19 pandemic presented new challenges to the community. Widely recognized as essential workers, journalists were required to be reporting from Ground Zero on the sufferings of people, healthcare services, economic downturn, and government action (or inaction). This exposed them to the risk of contracting the virus, and as per Press Emblem Campaign, around 2,000 journalists succumbed to Covid between March 2020 and February 2022.

READ | US vs Russia in Ukraine? Biden govt launches USD 47.6 million demining training project in Eastern Europe

Nilesh Desai
Nilesh Desai
The Hindu Patrika is founded in 2016 by Mr. Nilesh Desai. This website is providing news and information mainly related to Hinduism. We appreciate if you send News, information or suggestion.


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