Daniel Leutenegger, Rathausgasse 18, CH-3011 Bern, www.ch-cultura.ch

Daniel Leutenegger
Rathausgasse 18
CH-3011 Bern

Increase in the number of journalists killed during the first six months of 2009

Increase in the number of journalists killed during the first  six months of 2009

23.08.2009 Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) Statement: Increase in the number of journalists killed during the first six months of 2009: 53 journalists killed compared to 45 for the same period in 2008.


The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) said that he number of journalists killed during the first six months of 2009 has increased. From January to June, 53 journalists in 18 countries have been killed as compared to 45 journalists during the same period in 2008.

PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen said that the increase in the current tally reflects the humanitarian crisis during the reporting period due to conflicts in Gaza, Somalia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Lempen added that in other countries where open conflict is absent like Mexico, the Philippines and Russia violence against journalists became an endemic feature.

PEC President Hedayat Abdel Nabi noted that this rise in the media tsunami flects negatively on objective reporting and kills the chances of veiling the truth to the world. Abdel Nabi added that though a body is in place to look into gross human rights violations, the UN Human Rights Council, it stands impotent when the issue comes to the protection of journalists.

Pakistan the most dangerous country
The PEC notes that Pakistan is the most dangerous country for media work so far this year with 6 journalists killed, followed by Iraq: 5, Mexico: 5, Philippines: 5 and Somalia: 5.
Gaza and Russia share the 6th place with 4 journalists killed in each country.
Three journalists were killed in Colombia, 2 in Afghanistan, Guatemala, Honduras, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. According to the PEC Ticking Clock, one journalist was killed in India, Indonesia, Kenya and Madagascar.

In addition targeted killings of journalists have not stopped during the first two weeks of July with six additional deaths among journalists: 2 in Honduras, one in Kyrgyzstan, 2 in Mexico and one in Russia where the militant journalist, human rights defender Natalya Estemirova has been killed on 15 July in Grozny.

The post presidential election unrest in Iran was another worrying situation impacting negatively on freedom of opinion and expression where not less than 40 journalists were arrested.

In July, Al-Jazeera Satellite network was banned from operations in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) by the Palestinian Authority over a controversial report on an internal power struggle. This development is highly condemned and the PEC is pleased to note that the banning of Al-Jazeera from covering the events in the oPt did not last except for a few days.

The PEC announcing the tally of media victims in 6 months call upon all UN member states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to take positive steps to stop this bloodbath against journalists with appropriate measures.





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