News / Middle East

UN Spearheads Drive to Protect Journalists After Deadly 2012

UN Spearheads Drive to Protect Journalistsi
X
January 08, 2013 8:25 PM
2012 was the deadliest year on record for journalists, with over 100 killed in their line of work. The United Nations announces a plan to improve safety for journalists around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Henry Ridgwell
2012 was the deadliest year on record for journalists, with over 100 killed in their line of work.  The United Nations is spearheading a new drive to improve safety for journalists around the world.  

When shells fell on the Syrian city of Homs in February 2012, a building used by foreign media took a direct hit - killing renowned Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin, along with French journalist Remi Ochlik.  Photographer Paul Conroy was injured. 

The incident was among the most high profile of 2012.  But there were many more fatal attacks on members of the media.  Many of them were specifically targeted for their reporting.

“You have not only this consistent rise in the number of killings of journalists to stop them reporting about crime, corruption and abuse of power, but in the last couple of years, especially in north Africa, from Somalia to Syria, you’ve got war again," said
William Horsley, who is from the Centre for Freedom of the Media at the University of Sheffield.

Indian journalists walk with their two wheelers at the funeral procession of fellow journalist Bwizamani Singh in Imphal, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.Indian journalists walk with their two wheelers at the funeral procession of fellow journalist Bwizamani Singh in Imphal, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.
x
Indian journalists walk with their two wheelers at the funeral procession of fellow journalist Bwizamani Singh in Imphal, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.
Indian journalists walk with their two wheelers at the funeral procession of fellow journalist Bwizamani Singh in Imphal, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.
Exact figures vary, but the U.N. says over 100 journalists were killed doing their job in 2012.  Late last year at a conference in Vienna, the United Nations launched its Action Plan on the Safety of Journalists and Combating Impunity.   

“What is needed is the public and the press to make the world’s populations understand the link between the killing of journalists and the undermining of the rule of law and stability in whole societies," said Horsley.

At an October symposium at the BBC College of Journalism, members of the world’s media gathered to discuss attacks on journalists.

Nearly 20 Somali journalists were killed in 2012 alone.  And Omar Faruk Osman of the Somali National Union of Journalists says some of the murders have been brutal.

“Not only journalists are killed in Somalia by bullets, they are also killed by beheading.  In our lives we have never seen journalists beheaded," said Osman.  

Pakistani media are also under threat for their coverage of schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai -- now discharged from a British hospital after being shot in the head by the Taliban. 

“The Taliban have announced open war against Pakistani media because we are supporting the little girl Malala Yousafzai," said Hamid Mir of Geo TV in Pakistan.

Bob Tyrer, associate editor of the Sunday Times of London, wants much tougher legal protection for the media.

“I think that the killing of journalists should be a crime against humanity," he said.

American freelance reporter James Foley has not been seen since he was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Syria in November.  It is another reminder of the dangers of the job - dangers that appear to be getting worse.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid