India Is The Most Dangerous Country For Journalists In Asia, Says Report

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10:40 am 31 Dec, 2015

Nine Indian journalists were among 110 journalists killed around the world in 2015, according to a media watchdog group.

According to the annual report of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), it has dubbed India as “Asia’s deadliest country” for media personal, ahead of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Iraq and Syria, both the only war-torn countries, recorded the deaths of more journalists than India.

The report said that four of the nine Indian journalists murdered in the past year were killed “for still undetermined reasons.”

The eight other countries where the most journalists were killed are Iraq (eleven), Syria (ten), France (eight), Yemen (eight), Mexico (eight), South Sudan (seven), the Philippines (seven) and Honduras (seven).

Out of 110, at least 67 were killed while reporting or because of their work.

The report says that these 67 deaths bring to 787 the total number of journalists killed in connection with their work since 2005.

“The move by Indian journalists to cover organised crime and its links with politicians have been exposed, especially the violence of criminal origin, since the start of 2015”, the report said.

Two murders monitored by RSF were linked to illegal mining, a sensitive environmental subject in India.

“The inadequacy of the Indian authorities’ response is reinforcing the climate of impunity for violence against journalists.”

Earlier this year, Sandeep Kothari, a 40-year-old journalist from Madhya Pradesh was allegedly murdered by three persons involved in illegal mining who kidnapped him and set him ablaze apparently over his refusal to withdraw a court case, police said. Kothari’s burnt body was found dumped in a farm at Butibori area in Nagpur.

RSF said that it had not been possible to clearly establish the circumstances or motives of 43 other deaths. Twenty-seven citizen-journalists and seven media workers were also killed in 2015.

The report states that The Charlie Hebdo attack made France the third deadliest country for journalists in 2015. A western country had never suffered a massacre of this kind in the past.

They condemned the failure of the states to protect the journalists and called for a “response to match the emergency.”

In Bangladesh, four secularist bloggers were killed in acts claimed by local terrorists.

“The passivity of the Bangladeshi authorities in the face of this bloodbath has fostered a climate of impunity that is extremely dangerous for citizen journalists,” RSF said.


Bangladeshi secular activists take part in a torch-lit protest against the killing of blogger Niloy Chakrabarti. theguardian

The report also placed the spotlight on 54 journalists who were held hostage at the end of 2015, 26 of them in Syria, and 153 journalists who were in prison, 23 of them in China and 22 in Egypt.

RSF has been producing its annual round-up of violations against journalists for the past 20 years. It is based on precise data gathered by RSF in the course of its monitoring activities. The New York-based “Committee to Protect Journalists” is publishing its own round-up today.

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