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Ukraine was the most dangerous place for journalists in 2022, according to IFJ

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Sixty-seven journalists and media staff have been killed so far this year in the line of duty, the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists said on Friday in its annual report documenting reporter deaths.

The grim toll is an increase from last year, when 47 people were killed, and is the highest since 2018, when 95 journalists and media staff died due to “targeted killings, bombings or crossfire incidents”. Ukraine was the most dangerous place for journalists this year, with 12 media deaths due to the ongoing war.

“The upsurge in murders of journalists and other media professionals is a matter of grave concern and another wake-up call for governments,” IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said in a statement, calling the journalism as an essential pillar of democracy.

Among the dead are Brent Renaud, an award-winning American journalist who was shot dead while reporting near kyiv in March. Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, a 24-year-old woman who worked in Ukraine as a repairwoman, one of journalism’s most dangerous and thankless jobs, died along with Pierre Zakrzewski, a Fox News cameraman, when their vehicle crashed. was hit by incoming fire the same month.

In the United States, Jeff German, an investigative reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was found dead in his home, apparently stabbed to death, in September. His colleagues carried out reporting and detective work in the field to help authorities track down the suspected killer.

In the West Bank, Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran correspondent wearing a helmet and protective vest that read “PRESS” in large white letters, was shot and killed in May.

Mexico, historically one of the most dangerous places for the media, has been the country where at least 11 journalists have been killed this year. Among them were Sheila Johana García Olivera and Yesenia Mollinedo Falconi, who were shot dead in a car outside a convenience store. Mollinedo Falconi’s brother said she received threats for her job, The Washington Post reported.

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At least 375 journalists and media workers are behind bars around the world, the group said. This figure is a new record since the IFJ began publishing lists of imprisoned journalists two years ago, he added. There were at least 84 jailed media workers in mainland China and Hong Kong, topping the list, while Myanmar came second with 64 and Turkey third with 51.

“These figures are grim and cast serious doubts on the political will of governments to address such grave threats to media freedom,” Bellanger added.

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