Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Iraq, Afghanistan Deadliest Countries for Journalists in 2016: IFJ

Iraq, Afghanistan Deadliest Countries for Journalists in 2016: IFJ

KABUL - Iraq and Afghanistan were the deadliest countries for journalist in 2016, with 28 media professionals being killed in the two countries, the International Federation of Journalists said.
The journalists were killed in the course of their work in targeted attacks, bomb blasts or caught in the cross-fire, according to the IFJ.
Fifteen journalists were killed in Iraq, while 13 were killed in Afghanistan followed by eight in Yemen and six in Syria.
“These levels of violence in media should spur into action all those committed to protecting journalists. There must be no impunity for those crimes. The IFJ and its affiliates around the world will redouble efforts to mobilise for credible steps to remove the shadow of violence over journalism, ” said IFJ President Philippe Leruth.
The IFJ compiles the annual list of journalists and media staff killed from information from its affiliates and other credible sources, after having established a clear or reasonable link between the killing and the professional activity of the victim.
However, the list does not represent all journalist and media professional deaths.
“The IFJ is aware of journalists who have gone missing and are feared killed but there is not enough information to determine that they have been killed,” the rights group said.
Iraqis on Friday took to the streets to protest the abduction of a journalist by unknown gunmen.
Afrah Shawqi was taken from her home in a southern neighbourhood of the capital on Monday.
Shawqi, 43, is employed by Asharq al-Awsat, a London-based pan-Arab newspaper, as well as a number of news websites including Aklaam.
On Monday she published a stinging article on the website in which she hit out at the armed groups which "act with impunity" in Iraq.
As of 29 December, the IFJ documented 93 journalist and media staff deaths around the world, which is 19 deaths less than 2015.
"Any decrease in violence against journalist and media personnel is always welcome but these figures... leave little room for comfort and reinforce hopes for the end of the security crisis in the media sector," Leruth said in a statement.
Regionally the Middle East was deadliest with 30 killings, followed by Asia-Pacific with 28, Latin America with 24, Africa with eight and Europe with three, the watchdog said. (Monitoring Desk)