At least 70 journalists were killed worldwide for their work during 2013, compared with 74 in 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a new report published on Monday.
The Middle East accounted for two-thirds of the deaths, with Syria remaining the most deadly place for journalists on the job in 2013, while Iraq and Egypt each saw a spike in fatal violence, the New York-based media watchdog said.
The long-standing conflict in Syria claimed the lives of at least 29 journalists in 2013, CPJ said, adding that that brings the number of journalists killed covering the conflict to at least 63, including some who died over the border in Lebanon or Turkey.
Yet the huge number of deaths in Syria does not tell the complete story of the danger there, given an unprecedented number of kidnappings, CPJ said.
About 60 journalists were abducted at least briefly during the year, according to CPJ research, and about 30 are currently missing.
In Iraq, violence returned to levels not seen since 2011, with 10 journalists killed. Egypt experienced a dramatic increase in deaths in 2013, with six journalists killed for their work.
“The Middle East has become a killing field for journalists. While the number of journalists killed for their work has declined in some places, the civil war in Syria and a renewal of sectarian attacks in Iraq have taken an agonizing toll,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney.
CPJ said it also maintains a database of all journalists killed since 1992. The database is continually updated.
Photo: Bapa’s Notes