Who killed the 57 journalists in 2010?

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    1st January 2011

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    57 dead

    This is in fact 25% fewer in number than in 2009, but the attacks, arrests and intimidation of journalists, even ‘netizens’ continues at a worryingly high rate

    Click map for closer view and entire report

    “Media workers are above all being murdered by criminals and traffickers of various kinds. Organised crime groups and militias are their leading killers worldwide,” said Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Jean-Francois Julliard.

    Criminals? Yes, clearly. They’re all criminals.  Traffickers? Traffickers of what? Drugs presumably in South America and parts of Africa. In the Middle East’s conflict zones, particularly in Iraq (7 killed) and in Pakistan (11) there is little doubt that the killers are militias, insurgency suicide-bombers and car-bombers. In those cases journalists are no more specifically targeted than are the passing family. They were only there doing a job of work. Certain states too seemed to be imposing a mafioso-like control, by murder and/or imprisonment on these human conduits of free information.

    While the report does not break down every death and its perpetrators there can be little doubt that those that are not state or drug/mafioso related are the consequence of insurgency violence. Almost always Islamist insurgency violence. On the first day of 2011, as Christians were slaughtered as they came out of a church in Egypt, we should remember this. (Also reported at CBS)


    These deaths touched all continents, but the deadliest continent by far was Asia with 20 cases, and this was due above all to the heavy toll in Pakistan, where 11 journalists were killed in 2010.

    Europe, the EU to be precise, did not escape. There was one murder of a journalist in Greece and one in Latvia, both as yet unsolved. But north America and Australasia were  completely free of such murders.

    Some deaths are suspected of being state-sponsored. There is nothing listed for China, which might suggest something about the secret nature of that regime. Or it might suggest that it mainly locks up rather than executes its mouthy free-speakers (see Iran & China jail most journalists – 34 each).

    The Russian death in the report was not detailed, likely to be Ivan Stepanov (Also see List of journalists killed in Russia since 1990s)

    Also see database of all imprisoned journalists (number 124) in 2010.


    The number of journalists kidnapped rose from 33 in 2009 to 51 in 2010.


    Many journalists flee abroad to escape violence and oppression. A total of 127 journalists from 23 countries did this in 2010. The exodus from Iran continues. For the second year running, it was the biggest source of fugitive journalists – 30 cases registered by Reporters Without Borders in 2010.


    There has been a 3% rise in the number of countries affected by internet censorship, up 2 from 2009 (60-62). The difficulties regarding free speech and freedom of reporting faced by the world is highlighted by this part of the report:

    “Significantly, online censorship is no longer necessarily the work of repressive regimes. Democracies are now examining and adopting new laws that pose a threat to free speech on the Internet.”

    Yes, it is “significant”. The internet is a major conduit for radicalisation, incitement and planning of terrorism, as well as being a platform for freedom.  How are freedom loving peoples supposed to deal with this pathway for good and ill, while there is no real limit on what can be said, learned, incited or orchestrated online?


    Original source – ABNA

    Year 2010 witnessed decrease in journalists victims, 7 reporters killed in Iraq

    The year 2010 had witnessed a considerable decrease of 25%, in the number of journalists killed all over the world, whilst 7 Iraqi journalists have been killed during the year, according to a report by ‘Journalists Without Borders’ about the freedom of press in the past year.

    Year 2010 witnessed decrease in journalists victims, 7 reporters killed in Iraq

    BAGHDAD (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – The year 2010 had witnessed a considerable decrease of 25%, in the number of journalists killed all over the world, whilst 7 Iraqi journalists have been killed during the year, according to a report by ‘Journalists Without Borders’ about the freedom of press in the past year.“2010 had witnessed the abduction of 51 reporters, the detention of 535, threats or aggressions against 1,374, imposition of observation on 504 media organizations, immigration of 137 reporters out of their homeland, detention of 152 Internet reporters and aggression on 52 others, along with harming 62 states due to the observation imposed on the Internet,” the report, copy of which landed in Aswat al-Iraq news agency said on Saturday.

    The report pointed out that the year 2010 had witnessed the killing of  57 journalists during carrying out of their professional duty, compared with 76 killed in 2009, thing that represented a 25% decrease in the number of victims among reporters, along with the decrease of journalists killing in the areas of conflict during the past few years, admitting the “difficulty of defining the killers among the criminal gangs, armed and extremist religious groups or states who carried the attacks against journalists.

    Within the said framework, the Secretary General of ‘Journalists Without Borders,’ Francois Juliar, pointed out to the “decrease of the number of journalists, killed in areas of conflict, compared with the previous years, whilst journalists remain to be victims of criminals and illegitimate traders of crime, with Mafias and militias remain in the forefront of killers of journalists in the world; that is why all those who care for the future must eliminate this phenomena.”

    The report confirmed that among 67 countries that witnessed murder crimes or assassinations against journalists, Pakistan, Iraq and Mexico, had been “the most violent areas against journalists over the past decade, with Iraq that witnessed the killing of 7 journalists in 2010, compared with 4 in 2009, most of them killed after the withdrawal of the U.S. combat forces in August, 2010, “whilst Iraqi journalists are surrounded by those who oppose their independence, including local authorities, corrupt groups and extremist religious movements.”


    Also reported at the BBC

    Fewer journalists were killed in 2010 than the previous year but more were kidnapped, Reporters Without Borders said in its annual report.

    Fifty-one journalists were kidnapped during the year, with journalists seen more and more as “bargaining chips”.

    The figure of 57 represents a 25% drop on 2009, in which 76 journalists were killed – including more than 30 in one attack in Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

    Pakistan saw the most fatalities in 2010, with 11 deaths. Iraq saw seven, as did Mexico. Journalists were also killed in seven African countries, including three in Somalia.

    Journalists had also been abducted on every continent in 2010.

    Bloggers had also been arrested and abducted, the group said, and for the second year running more journalists fled Iran than anywhere else.


    See entire report from Reporters Without Borders

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