‘Rising threat’ to journalists in Syria

Committee to Protect Journalists says the number of targeted killings of reporters is increasing

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Journalists in Syria face a “rising” threat of being killed, with the country ranking the most dangerous for media workers, a U.S.-based watchdog said Wednesday.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported a “rising number of targeted killings” of reporters in Syria.

“With unprecedented numbers of abductions and high rates of fatalities in combat and crossfire, Syria was already the world’s most dangerous country for journalists,” Agence France-Presse quoted the CPJ as saying.

In 2013, 70 journalists were killed for their work in Syria, down from 74 in 2012.

Iraq is the worst country for unsolved murders of journalists, with Somalia ranked second and the Philippines third, the watchdog said.

Iraq, with 100 percent impunity in 100 cases, has topped that ranking ever since the survey began in 2008.

The Impunity Index calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of a country’s population.

Since the index began tracking, 2012 was the first year that no journalists were killed in relation to their work in Iraq, but 2013 saw a spike of 10 journalist killings, nine of them murders, the CPJ said.

There were four journalist murders in Somalia in 2013.

“Elusive armed insurgent groups have terrorized the media beyond the reach of Somalia’s fragile law and order institutions, but authorities have also failed to adequately investigate attacks by other sources,” CPJ said.

The watchdog said 96 percent of victims are local reporters, most of whom covered politics, corruption and war.

(With AFP)