ENGİN SAĞ / Journalist
Journalism is becoming an even more dangerous profession every day. In the last 18 months, at least 50 members of the media have been killed due to their profession all over the world. The files that most of the murdered journalists worked on were corruption, organized crime, or environmental massacres…
Being difficult by its nature, journalism is getting more and more dangerous day by day. There is a noticeable increase in murders of journalists worldwide. In 2020 and the first half of 2021, at least 50 journalists worldwide were murdered because of their profession. Many of the murdered journalists were targeted to explore issues such as corruption, organized crime, or environmental problems. In addition, more than two-thirds of the journalists were killed outside the conflict zones.
DISSIDENT JOURNALIST EXECUTED IN IRAN
In the last days of 2020, the horrifying event for journalists took place in Iran. Dissident journalist Ruhollah Zem, accused of inciting anti-government demonstrations in 2017 – 2018, was executed in Iran on December 12, 2020. The death penalty, in which a press-member was executed for the first time in 30 years, caused a great reaction in the world. Living in France with refugee status, Zem was illegally kidnapped by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in October 2019 and taken back to Iran. Zem directed Amednews, and it had approximately 1.5 million followers on Telegram.
JOURNALISTS KILLED IN 2021
It was recorded that 18 journalists were killed in the first half of 2021. February 19, 2021: Borhan Uddin Muzakkir, the correspondent of Barta Bazar news in Bangladesh and local correspondent of Indian based Samachar newspaper, was shot in the throat while following the street clashes among the ruling Awami League party followers.
August 8 2021: Local news channel EV5-TV reporter Chennakeshavalu was stabbed by a police officer and his brother in Kurnool city, India. According to the police statement, the journalist had published a report accusing the alleged murderer of being involved in illegal gambling and tobacco sales.
July 16, 2021: It was announced that Reuters news agency’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed in the clash between Taliban soldiers and security forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The Indian journalist has projected many events to the world through his lens, including the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Hong Kong protests and the Nepal earthquake.
April 26, 2021: David Beriain, multimedia director of Spain-based 93 Metros, was abducted by unidentified persons in Burkina Faso, along with journalist and cameraman
Roberto Fraile. After their abduction, the authorities found Beriain and Fraile’s bodies. Two journalists were shooting for a documentary on the ‘fight against wildlife’.
June 4, 2021: Azerbaijan state news agency AzerTag reporter Muharrem Ibrahimov and Azerbaijan state television AzTV cameraman Siraj Abishov lost their lives when they stepped on a mine in the Kelbajar district of Azerbaijan, near Nagorno-Karabakh.
February 3, 2021: Lokman Slim was killed in Lebanon
March 1, 2021: Jamal Farah Adan was killed in Somalia
May 9, 2021: Sisay Fida was killed in Ethiopia
June 3, 2021: Mina Khairi killed in Afghanistan
June 13, 2021: Sulabh Srivastava killed in India
June 17, 2021: Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera killed in Mexico
July 22, 2021: Renante Cortes killed in the Philippines
July 22, 2021: Ricardo Domínguez killed in Mexico
August 8 2021: Manish Kumar Singh killed in India
August 13 2021: Joël Mumbere Musavuli killed in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo
August 19, 2021: Jacinto Romero Flores killed in Mexico
A PAINFUL YEAR
The most dangerous countries for journalists in 2020 were Mexico, Iraq, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. In addition, 8 to 11 journalists have lost their lives in Mexico every year since 2015 because of the news they made. Eight journalists were killed in the country last year alone. Mexican Journalists have been particularly targeted for investigating relationships between drug cartels and politicians.
A total of six journalists in Iraq and five journalists in Afghanistan lost their lives in 2020 while doing their duties. The perpetrators of the murders have not been arrested. Four journalists investigating corruption and drug dealing in India were murdered. Four journalists reporting on drugs were killed in Pakistan.
The Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) announced that in the first ten months of 2020, more than 600 journalists in 59 countries lost their lives due to COVID-19. According to the figures given by the PEC, most deaths occurred in Latin America. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has not been a thorough study about how many journalists worldwide have lost their lives while on duty.
The Women’s Network in India (NWMI) announced that 474 journalists lost their lives by the end of May due to the epidemic that hit the country as the ‘Indian Variant’. According to NWMI, the deaths of many of these journalists are directly related to their work.
SOME OF THE JOURNALISTS KILLED IN 2020
February 16, 2020: Abdiwali Ali Hassan killed in Somalia
Feb. 20, 2020: Abdul Nasser Haji Hamdan killed in Syria
January 10, 2020: Ahmed Abdul Samad killed in Iraq
February 4, 2020: Amjad Anas Aktalati killed in Syria
June 22, 2020: Christoff Griffith murdered in Barbados
November 12, 2020: Elyas Dayee was killed in Afghanistan
July 1, 2020: German Vallecillo Jr killed in Honduras
December 12 2020: Hussein Khattab killed in Syria