Tuesday 30 August 2016

SumTips: 8 Countries Where Journalism Threatens Personal Safety

Syrian flag and map
[Image credit: BOLDG/Shutterstock]
In 2016, 27 journalists have lost their lives for and while exercising their right to freedom of expression – and the year is far from over. 8 countries worldwide have already seen multiple journalists die this year:

Syria – 8 journalists killed   
  • Ibrahim Omar of Al Jazeera Mubashar was killed by an air raid in July. It is believed that Russian warplanes were responsible for the attack on the war reporter.
  • Freelance cameraman Khaled Eissa died in June, a week after being injured by an improvised explosive device (IED). The attack was seen as an assassination attempt on also-present anti-government journalist Hadi Abdullah, who survived, but suffered injuries of his own.
  • Sami Jawdat Rabah (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights), Samer Mohammed Aboud (Free Deir al-Zour Radio; Development Interaction Network), Mustafa Abdul Hassa (Shaam News Network) and Mohammed Eissa (Nateq Network) were murdered by Islamic State militants in June 2016. Their crime was “working with media and nongovernmental organizations.”
  • Osama Jumaa of Images Live was attacked by government fire in June while traveling to report on a civilian rescue. He was 20 years old.
  • Majid Dirani of the Darayya Media Center died in February while filming a government attack on Damascus. Dirani had cofounded the Darayya Media Center, an organization committed to reporting local news.

Yemen – 4 journalists killed
  • Mubarak al-Abadi was killed by artillery fire while reporting on government/rebel fighting in August. Al-Abadi had served as president of the Nabaa Media Foundation, an organization that trained journalists and supported media coverage of local events.
  • Houthi rebels shot and killed Ahmed al-Shaibani of Yaman News and Yemen TV in February. At the time, he had been reporting on an attack on a factory.
  • Hashim al-Hamran of Al-Masirah TV died from injuries incurred during a Saudi-coalition airstrike in January. After his death, Al-Masirah TV published the video footage al-Hamran had taken of a previous airstrike.
  • Freelance journalist Almigdad Mojalli also died at the hand of a Saudi-coalition airstrike in January. He had been reporting for Voice of America at the time.

Iraq – 2 journalists killed
  • Hassan al-Anbaki and Saif Talal, cameraman and correspondent for Al-Sharqiya, respectively, were stopped, shot and killed in January while driving. The journalists were returning from a trip to report on bombings in Muqdadiyah.

Mexico – 2 journalists killed
  • Elidio Ramos Zárate of El Sur was shot and killed in June. Prior to the attack, he had reported on teachers’ union protests, where his life had been threatened.
  • Marcos Hernández Bautista of Noticias, Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca was also shot and killed in June. Hernández was known for his reporting on social issues such as poverty, education and politics.

Afghanistan – 2 journalists killed
  • David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna of National Public Radio were killed by a rocket propelled grenade in June. It was the journalists’ first day with the Afghan army.

Turkey – 2 journalists killed
  • Zaher al-Shurqat of Aleppo Today was shot and killed by the Islamic State in April. His death marked the fourth Syrian journalist killed by IS in Turkey since October 2015.
  • Rohat Aktaş of Azadiya Welat was confirmed dead in February. He was shot while reporting on and assisting those who had been wounded during fighting between Kurdish separatists and Turks.

Libya – 2 journalists killed
  • Abdelqadir Fassouk of Arraed Satellite TV was shot and killed in July while reporting on fighting between government forces and the Islamic State. Colleague Yasin Khattab reflected, “His motive was always (finding) the truth and nothing more.”
  • Freelance photojournalist Khaled al-Zintani was killed by sniper fire in June while reporting in Benghazi. The gunman is suspected of being part of an Islamist militia.

India – 2 journalists killed
  • Rajdev Ranjan of the Hindustan was shot and killed outside his office in May. Asha Devi, Ranjan’s widow, believes the murder was prompted by her husband’s critical reporting of a particular lawmaker.
  • Karun Misra of the Jansandesh Times was shot and killed by three gunmen in February. The gunmen had been hired by mining contractors looking for retribution for Misra’s reporting on illegal mining.

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