Targeted killings of journalists surged in 2020, 68% killed outside war zones: Report

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More journalists are being killed outside of war zones, and the overwhelming majority of this 12 months’s grim whole of at the least 50 lifeless have been intentionally focused, many of them murdered whereas investigating organized crime, corruption and environmental degradation, Reporters Without Borders mentioned Tuesday.

Its tally of journalists and media staff killed in reference to their work by mid-December was simply barely decrease than in 2019, when the press freedom group counted 53 lifeless, regardless that many journalists reported much less from the sphere in 2020 as a result of of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group mentioned 68% have been killed outside of war zones this 12 months. That confirms a development famous by the group since 2016, when solely 4 out of 10 deaths have been in international locations not at war.

Targeted killings of journalists surged in 2020, accounting for 84% of deaths, sharply up from 63% in 2019, the group mentioned.

It once more listed Mexico because the deadliest nation for media staff, counting at the least eight journalists killed there in reference to their work in 2020. Among them was Julio Valdivia, a newspaper reporter whose decapitated physique was discovered in September in an space ridden with organized crime.

Among six media deaths that the group counted in Iraq was the killing in July of Hisham al-Hashimi, a number one knowledgeable on the Islamic State and different armed teams, who was shot lifeless outside his Baghdad house.

Reporters Without Borders additionally famous a rise in the killings of investigative journalists, together with 4 who have been wanting into organized crime teams, 10 who have been reporting on corruption and the misuse of public funds and three who have been engaged on environmental points together with unlawful mining and land grabs.

Reporting on civil unrest additionally proved significantly lethal, the group mentioned, with seven journalists killed whereas protecting protests — 4 of them in Iraq, two in Nigeria and one in Colombia.

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