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Threats Against Journalists at ‘Epidemic Levels,’ Media Watchdog Group Says

81 reporters were killed doing their jobs this year, according to the International Federation of Journalists

Threats against journalists were at “epidemic levels” in 2017, according to a report from the International Federation of Journalists.

The annual “Kill Report” — which tracks journalists who were killed, threatened, forced to flee their home countries, imprisoned or harassed throughout the year — found that 81 members of the media were killed doing their jobs in targeted attacks and cross fire incidents around the world in 2017, while 250 others were held captive.

Although the number of deaths is 12 less than last year’s death tally of 93 and the lowest in a decade, the number of threats against journalists has soared.

We welcome the reduction for the third year in a row in the loss of life suffered by journalists and media staff around the world during 2017,” said IFJ President Philippe Leruth. “While this represents a downward trend, the levels of violence in journalism remain unacceptably high. We find it most disturbing that this decrease cannot be linked to any measure by governments to tackle the impunity for these crimes targeting journalists. Instead, the patterns don’t change in the most violent countries such as Mexico and India.”

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger concurs and warns against complacency, saying,In Syria, Mexico and India killings continue at frightening levels, more women journalists have been murdered, impunity for killings still runs at over 90%, self-censorship remains widespread and more journalists are in jail than at any time in recent years.”

The number of deaths by country is as follows:

Mexico: 13

Afghanistan: 11

Iraq: 11

Syria: 10

India: 6

Philippines: 4

Pakistan: 4

Nigeria: 3

Somalia: 3

Honduras: 3