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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.