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Report: 110 Journalists Killed in 2015

FILE - The front page of the new issue of satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo entitled "C'est Reparti" ("Here we go again"), is displayed at a kiosk in Nice, Feb. 25, 2015.

Press freedom in 2015 fell to its lowest point in 12 years, according to a new report on the issue.

Freedom House, which produced the Freedom of the Press 2016 report, cited political, criminal and terrorist forces behind the decline in press freedom.

World Press Freedom Day, a global observance on May 3, stresses that freedom of information is a fundamental human right as well as weighs the state of press freedom around the world. The focus of the day is also to remind people around the world that in dozens of countries, publications are censored, fined or shuttered, while journalists and editors are harassed, detained and sometimes even murdered.

Reporters Without Borders (RWB), a France-based international nonprofit group that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press, said 110 journalists were killed in the course of their work or in connection with it in 2015; 787 have been killed since 2005.

Of the 110 journalists killed in 2015, RWB found:

• 49 were murdered or knowingly targeted
• 18 were killed in the course of their work
• 43 were killed for unclear reasons
• 27 were citizen journalists
• 7 were media workers
• 36 percent were killed in war zones
• 97 percent were nationals of the countries in which they were killed

The five deadliest countries for journalists

• Iraq
• Syria
• France *
• Yemen
• South Sudan

* The Charlie Hebdo attack in January made France the third-deadliest country for journalists in 2015. In response to terror attacks, officials in France, as well as Spain and the United Kingdom, proposed restrictive surveillance and antiterrorism laws last year in the name of public security.

Five deadliest incidents for journalists

Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris; 12 people were killed, including eight journalists

• Beheading of Japanese freelance reporter Kenji Goto by the Islamic State group

• Hacking deaths of Bangladesh bloggers: Avijit Roy, Ananta Bijoy, Washiqur Rahman, Niloy Chakrabarti

• Death of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa in Mexico

• Death of Somali journalist Hindiya Mohamed in a car bombing; she was one of two women journalists killed in 2015

Journalists in prison or held hostage

Detained: 153, 23 of whom are being detained in China
Held hostage: 54, 26 of whom are being held in Syria

Source: Reporters Without Borders