(Source: CPJ, edited by Issa Sikiti da Silva). Every eight days, there is a journalist killed somewhere in the world, and this has been happening over the past two decades, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said yesterday in New York, upon the release of Attacks on the Press, its annual assessment of global press freedom.
The rising number of journalists killed and jailed in the past year, coupled with restrictive legislation and state censorship, is restraining independent reporting in many countries, the US-based media watchdog said.
More than 35 journalists have gone missing in 2012, and 70 journalists lost their lives in the line of duty in the same year, a 43% increase from 2011, according to the report.
The report revealed the following trends:
• High murder rates and entrenched impunity in Pakistan, Somalia, and Brazil.
• The use of restrictive laws to silence dissent in Ecuador, Turkey, and Russia.
• The imprisonment of large numbers of journalists, typically on anti-state charges, to thwart critical reporting in Ethiopia, Turkey, Vietnam, Iran, and Syria.
• An exceedingly high fatality rate in Syria, where journalists faced multiple risks from all sides in the conflict.
“When journalists are silenced, whether through violence or laws, we all stand to lose because perpetrators are able to obscure misdeeds, silence dissent, and disempower citizens,” CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said, deploring an increasingly deteriorating environment worldwide.
“The battle to control information is an assault on public accountability that cannot go unchallenged. Governments must prosecute perpetrators and stop those seeking to incapacitate public oversight by blunting critical and probing reporting.”
For more information, log in www.cpj.org.
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