2012 worst year for journalists in Pakistan, Syria, Somalia: Report
The year 2012 has been one of the worst years for the media in recent memory as 67 journalists were killed in the line of duty during the year across Pakistan, Syria and Somalia, according to a report released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
There has been a 42 percent increase in the number of deaths from the previous year, and the CPJ blames the war in Syria, a record number of shootings in Somalia and continued violence in Pakistan for this sharp rise, reports The Dawn.
Pakistan, the deadliest place for journalists in 2010 and 2011, dropped two notches this year, but the number of fatalities held steady at seven, and four of those killings took place in Balochistan.
CPJ also documented the death of one media support worker in 2012, named Mohammad Amir, in Pakistan.
Freelancer Mukarram Khan Aatif, who contributed to Dunya News and to Deewa Radio, a Pashto-language service of the US government-funded Voice of America, was shot outside a mosque near Peshawar.
Although the Taliban claimed responsibility for the January slaying, Aatif's in-depth coverage of conflict along the Pakistan-Afghan border had made him numerous enemies.
The targeted journalists wrote about political corruption and like one-third of murder victims worldwide, they too had reported receiving threats.
CPJ is investigating the deaths of 30 more journalists in 2012 to establish whether they were work-related.
Syria was by far the deadliest country in 2012, with 28 journalists killed in combat or targeted for murder by government or opposition forces. In the Syrian conflict, citizen journalists have paid a high price for playing a key role in reporting the events happening around them. At least 13 citizen journalists were killed in Syria in 2012.
War, politics, and human rights were the three most common beats among the 2012 victims.
For the first time since 2003, CPJ did not confirm any work-related fatalities in Iraq.