IFJ records 67 killings of journalists and media staff

  • 12 Dec 2022

New figures released by the International Federation of Journalists reveal an increase in the number of journalists murdered while undertaking their work.

The rise in deaths marks a shift from recent years where a decline in figures had been recorded. 47 journalists  and media workers were killed in 2021, compared to 67 this year. 

Journalists have died in 21 countries including Mexico and Palestine, with Ukraine recording the highest number of murders. At least 12 media workers were killed in the country, where journalists have reported from dangerous environments following Russia’s invasion in February. NUJ members donated to the IFJ's special appeal for funds to support journalists including by providing essential equipment and training. 

Five journalists have been killed in Pakistan, and four in the Philippines. Hostility from the authorities in both countries continue to hinder freedom of expression. The murder of Shireen Abu Akleh in May by Israeli forces was one of five deaths in the Middle East and Arab World, and has led to a complaint submission to the International Criminal Court.

Africa recorded the lowest number of deaths with four journalists killed in Chad and Somalia this year.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

“The surge in the killings of journalists and other media workers is a grave cause of concern and yet another wake up call for governments across the globe to take action in the defence of journalism, one of the key pillars of democracy” 

“The failure to act will only embolden those who seek to suppress the free flow of information and undermine the ability of people to hold their leaders to account, including in ensuring that those with power and influence do not stand in the way of open and inclusive societies. It is now time for the UN General Assembly to pass the IFJ Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists.”

“These figures make for grim reading and cast serious doubts on the political will on the part of governments to address such grave threats to media freedom. The number of journalists being held for simply doing their job makes a mockery of the lofty declarations on human rights and media freedom made by too many governments and trumpeted at international conferences.

“Such commitments ring hollow to those languishing in prisons with no charges nor any lawful basis for their arrest. It’s time for the international community to act to ensure all journalists illegally held are freed.”

The IFJ has also identified that 375 journalists and media workers are currently imprisoned in countries spanning continents. Hong Kong has jailed 84 journalists, with Myanmar, Turkey and Iran detaining 64, 51 and 34 respectively.

The NUJ continues to liaise with sister unions globally, to support campaigns calling for an end to wrongful imprisonment and the targeting of journalists worldwide.

Access the full list of journalists and media staff killed in 2022.

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