The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) ‘World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development 2021-2022’ report stated that 86 journalists were killed worldwide last year, which means that a journalist or media worker was killed every 4 days.
According to a UNESCO statement on the report, Latin America and the Caribbean was the ‘deadliest’ region for journalists with 44 murders in 2022.
There were 16 murders in Asia and the Pacific and 11 in Eastern Europe. The ‘deadliest’ country for journalists was Mexico with 19 murders. Following Mexico were Ukraine with 10 murders and Haiti with 9 murders.
“HALF OF THEM TARGETED WHILE OFF DUTY”
Report noted that almost half of the journalists killed were targeted while off-duty, with some attacked while traveling, in their homes, parking lots or other public places where they were not on duty.
“This means that there are no safe spaces for journalists, even in their free time,” the report said, adding that the number of journalists killed in countries in conflict rose from 20 in 2021 to 23 in 2022.
The statement expressed:
“These journalists were killed for a variety of reasons, including reprisals for covering sensitive topics such as corruption, environmental crimes, abuse of power, protests, and reporting on organized crime, armed conflict or the rise of extremism.”
Although there has been ‘some’ progress in the last five years, the impunity rate for the murder of journalists remains at a ‘staggeringly high’ with 86 percent, the organization said.
The organization’s Director-General Audrey Azoulay said: “After several years of consecutive declines, the sharp increase in the number of journalists killed in 2022 is alarming. The authorities must step up their efforts to stop these crimes and ensure that their perpetrators are punished, as complacency is a key factor in this climate of violence.”