Journalist murders in Syria a shocking trend - report

2014-12-16 14:34
A frame from a video released by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of journalist James Foley. (File, AP).

A frame from a video released by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of journalist James Foley. (File, AP).

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Paris - The beheading of journalists by Islamist militants in Syria this year showed that reporters face a dangerous new threat, media freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders said on Tuesday.

While the overall number of journalists killed around the world was down 7% on 2013, to 66, the nature of some of the killings was of great concern, the Paris-based group said in an annual report.

"The Reporters Without Borders round-up for 2014 highlights an evolution in the nature of violence against journalists and the way certain kinds, including carefully-staged threats and beheadings, are being used for very clear purposes," it said.

"Rarely have reporters been murdered with such a barbaric sense of propaganda, shocking the entire world."

The deadliest country for journalists this year was Syria, where 15 were killed, followed by the Palestinian territories, especially Gaza, then eastern Ukraine, Iraq and Libya.

China is the country where most journalists were jailed, followed by Eritrea, Iran, Egypt and Syria, the report found.
The number of journalists kidnapped rose 37% this year to 119, of which 90% were local reporters, with most cases in the Middle East and North Africa.

Some 40 journalists are still being held hostage worldwide.

Due to "diverse forms of intimidation", the report said, twice as many journalists fled into exile this year as in 2013.

Read more on:    isis  |  syria  |  syria conflict

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