News / Middle East

2012 Deadly Year for World's Journalists

This an undated image of journalist Marie Colvin, who was killed in Syria in 2012, was made available by her employer, the Sunday Times in London.
This an undated image of journalist Marie Colvin, who was killed in Syria in 2012, was made available by her employer, the Sunday Times in London.
Margaret Besheer
The year 2012 was one of the deadliest years for journalists, said the Committee to Protect Journalists on Thursday, with a total of 70 killed.

The high death toll was attributed to the conflict in Syria and violence against reporters in countries including Somalia and Pakistan. In its annual review of the dangers of journalism, another 232 reporters were jailed for their work.

Turkish journalists demand Syria free their colleagues during a march to the Syrian Embassy in Ankara, Aug. 31, 2012.Turkish journalists demand Syria free their colleagues during a march to the Syrian Embassy in Ankara, Aug. 31, 2012.
x
Turkish journalists demand Syria free their colleagues during a march to the Syrian Embassy in Ankara, Aug. 31, 2012.
Turkish journalists demand Syria free their colleagues during a march to the Syrian Embassy in Ankara, Aug. 31, 2012.
Most of those targeted are local journalists reporting about human rights, politics, conflict, crime or corruption, said Robert Mahoney, the CPJ Deputy Director.

“From Mexico to Syria, Russia to Pakistan, journalists are on the front lines confronting violence and repression as never before," said Mahoney.

Syria was the deadliest country for reporters, with 28 killed in combat or targeted for murder by government or opposition forces.  All but four of them were Syrian nationals covering their country’s conflict. Another 13 so-called “citizen journalists," who used their cameras and mobile phones to document the conflict in that country, also lost their lives.

In Somalia, it was the arrest and conviction last month of reporter Abdiaziz Abdinuur that has attracted international attention.  He received a one-year prison sentence for insulting the government by interviewing a woman who said she was raped by government forces.  The woman was also sentenced to one year in jail.

But in addition to the arrests, CPJ says at least a dozen reporters were murdered last year in Somalia.  The militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for four of them.

Mahoney noted that most of the time no one is ever prosecuted for a journalist’s murder, either in Somalia or elsewhere, creating an atmosphere of impunity. “It sends a terrible message to the journalism community if one of its own can be killed and nothing happens," he said.

VOA reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif shown in northwest Pakistan in January 2012.VOA reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif shown in northwest Pakistan in January 2012.
x
VOA reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif shown in northwest Pakistan in January 2012.
VOA reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif shown in northwest Pakistan in January 2012.
​CPJ said seven reporters were killed in Pakistan, including Mukarram Khan Aatif, who contributed to Voice of America’s Pashto-language Deewa Radio.  He was gunned down in a mosque north of Peshawar.  The Taliban claimed responsibility for that January 2012 attack.

In Latin America, journalists are harassed, intimidated and face serious threats from organized crime syndicates and corrupt officials.  

CPJ Americas Director Carlos Lauria said four reporters were killed doing their work last year in Brazil. In Mexico, the situation is even more dangerous.

“In the last six years, more than 50 journalists have been killed or disappeared," he said. "Many reporters have been brutally attacked.  Others have gone into exile.  But perhaps the most devastating consequence of this wave of unprecedented violence is the climate of fear and intimidation in which journalists have to do their work, which is leading to rampant censorship.”

The report also expresses concerns about the widespread jailing of journalists under antiquated and restrictive laws used to silence anti-government dissent. The report cites Turkey, Iran, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Syria as major jailers.

Perhaps the report’s one bright spot is that for the first time since 2003, the rights group did not confirm a single work-related death among reporters in Iraq.  Between 2003 and 2008, Iraq was one of the most dangerous places for reporters in the world, with a total of 151 journalists dying while covering that conflict.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs