45 Journalists Killed Across The World In 2021

Statistics from the International Press Institute (IPI) indicates the in 2021, 45 journalists around the world were killed in connection with their work.

Out of the 45 journalists that were killed, 28 of these journalists were killed in retaliation to their work.

According to IPI’s Death Watch, Mexico topped the four countries where Journalists were killed.

Of these 45 journalists, 40 were male and five were female. A total of 28 were targeted due to their work, while three were killed while covering conflict, two lost their lives covering civil unrest, and one journalist was killed while on assignment. Eleven cases are still under investigation.

The Death Watch includes names of journalists who were deliberately targeted because of their profession – either because of their reporting or simply because they were journalists –  as well as those who lost their lives while covering conflict or while on assignment. IPI’s list includes journalists, editors, and reporters, as well as media workers who directly contribute to news content, such as camerapersons.

IPI’s statistics are based on the organization’s regular monitoring of attacks on journalists. In addition, IPI works closely together with its network of members and with local journalism organizations to assess whether the killing of a journalist was likely to be work-related or not.

Deliberately killed

Of the journalists included in the Death Watch, IPI classifies 28 as targeted due to work, meaning that there are clear indications that the victims were deliberately killed due to their profession – either in retaliation for specific reporting or simply for being a journalist. The list includes independent Somali journalist Jamal Farah Adan, who was shot by gunmen on March 1. The extremist group Al-Shabaab later claimed responsibility. In July, Mexican journalist Ricardo Dominguez López, owner of news website InfoGuaymas, was shot to death in the parking lot of a supermarket on his 47th birthday. These are just some of the more than two dozen abhorrent killings around the world.

Some – but not all – journalists had received death threats before they were murdered. For instance, Shannaz Roafi, Sadia Sadat, and Mursal Wahidi worked for the independent radio and TV station Enikass in Afghanistan, which had received threats from extremist groups for broadcasting television shows. Rasha Abdullah Al-Harazi, a journalist from Yemen who died in a targeted car bomb attack while she was nine months pregnant, had received many threats in the months before her death, Khalid Ibrahim of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights told IPI. “By phone she was told to stop doing journalism”, he said. “But we didn’t know it would be this serious.”

In addition to the 28 targeted killings, IPI classifies 11 killings as “under investigation”. This designation means that there are grounds to suspect that the journalist’s death may have been a targeted killing, but that more information is needed to be able to confirm this. One example is the murder of former Reuters journalist Jess Malabanan in the Philippines, who was killed on December 8 by assailants on a motorcycle while he was watching TV. As Malabanan had worked on a prize-winning Reuters production on President Duterte’s drug war in 2018, there is suspicion that the killing may have been journalism-related. IPI is working closely with local journalism organizations to follow this and other cases for potential updates.

In many cases, the failures of states to investigate the murders of journalists makes it difficult to assess whether a killing is work-related, requiring researchers to rely on circumstantial evidence. Determinations may be updated to reflect new information. In addition, IPI is also looking into several other cases of journalists who were killed in 2021, for which there is currently no indication of a connection to their work. Although these cases are not listed on IPI’s Death Watch, IPI continues to follow them in collaboration with local media organizations.

Three journalists were killed covering armed conflict, including Maharram Ibrahimov, a reporter for the Azerbaijani state news agency AzerTag, who was killed in a landmine explosion on June 4 in Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar region. Two journalists were killed covering civil unrest, including Burhan Uddin Mujakker, who was shot in the neck while covering a political clash in Bangladesh in which eight other people suffered bullet injuries. One Indian journalist, Arindam Das, died on assignment. Das drowned while covering the rescue mission of an elephant from a river. These deaths reflect the continued hazards of the journalistic profession.

Credit: IPI







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