IFJ marks Human Rights Day by highlighting 49 killings of journalists worldwide
10 December 2019
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today marked Human Rights Day on Tuesday 10 December by condemning violations of the rights and freedoms of journalists and media workers.
They include the killings of 49 journalists in 18 countries from Africa (9), Asia Pacific (12), Europe (2), Latin America (18) and the Middle East and Arab world (8) since the start of 2019.
This is a sharp decrease from 95 killings recorded last year and the lowest figure since 2000 when 37 journalists and media staff were killed.
This year’s death toll is the fourth lowest since 1990 when the IFJ began publishing annual reports on journalists and media staff killed in the line of duty.
However, the figures also confirm that more media professionals lose their lives to violence in their own countries, communities and cities than in armed conflicts.
Younes Mjahed, IFJ president, said:
"This year is on track to post the lowest level of journalists’ killings for almost two decades and this will be welcome news to journalists all over the world.
"Sadly, every killing is one too many and even this decrease can hardly be attributable to actions by governments to protect journalists whose rights and freedoms are routinely violated. Whilst the number of killings has gone down, threats, jailing, online harassment, censorship and self-censorship and the use of legal and administrative measures continue to undermine media freedom and human rights around the world."
Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:
"The loss of lives among journalists and media workers in several conflict zones in recent years due to lack of security has deterred many colleagues from covering these events from the field.
"While it is justified for journalists to exercise caution, the lack of investment in - and support for - media safety make people less informed about matters of public interest."
The full list of journalists and media staff killed in targeted killings, bomb attacks and cross fire incidents during 2019 will be published on 31 December 2019 by the IFJ.
The Federation also used the Human Rights Day to highlight other serious violations of journalists’ rights around the world, including the on-going attacks on media professionals in Palestine, Pakistan and the Philippines, the arrest of their colleagues in Turkey and Burundi, the assaults on media staff covering protests in France and Hong Kong as well as widespread gender-based violence off and online.