Worldwide journalist death toll soars

Seventeen news media staff died violently this month, bringing the
worldwide death toll to 42 journalists in 22 countries since the start
of 2010, reports the International News Safety Institute (INSI). It was the bloodiest April since 2005.

2009 was one of the worst years on record with 133 deaths, INSI reports.

“As World Press Freedom Day [May 3] approaches, this is a stark reminder of the terrible price we pay for our news around the globe,” said INSI Director Rodney Pinder in a press release.

The release continues:

“INSI backs a call for one minute’s silence in newsrooms around the world to honour more than 1,500 journalists and other news media who have died trying to cover the story over the past 14 years. UNESCO has urged the gesture of respect to take place this and every year on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, to denounce the murder of journalists and to demand an end to impunity for their killers.”

“INSI and other journalist support groups have found than in more than eight out of 10 cases of journalist murder no one is brought to justice. In some countries the prosecution rate is virtually zero.”

“The shocking death toll in April brings this issue into even sharper focus,” Pinder said. “Each and every case demonstrates a crying need for action both in the countries concerned and on the world stage. Freedom shrieks whenever a journalist is killed for doing their job.”

“INSI calls on all of the States concerned — and especially Honduras, Mexico, Pakistan, Colombia and Nigeria — to conduct full inquiries into these deaths and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Pinder said.”

“We also urge all UN member states, in the spirit of UNESCO’s call for a minute’s silence, to join in a global effort staunch the bloodshed and end impunity for the killers of journalists.”

The toll of this bloody April, according to the INSI, includes:

• Patient Chibeya, a Congolese journalist shot dead in front of his home by men in military fatigues.

• Radio presenter Luis Antonio Chevez Hernandez and journalist Georgino Orellana, gunned down in Honduras. Seven journalists have been slain in Honduras this year.

• Edwin Segues, a radio reporter shot in the Philippines – the second reporter murdered there since January.

• Latvian publisher Grigorijs Nemcovs, the victim of an apparent contract killing

• Malik Arif and Azmatr Ali Bangash, killed by a suicide bomber as they reported on a refugee camp in Pakistan

• Nathan Dabat and Sunday Bwade, stabbed by rioters as they covered unrest in Nigeria

• Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto, shot in the chest during a clash between troops and demonstrators in Thailand

• Metin Alatas, a journalist working for a Kurdish-language newspaper in Turkey, found hanged in a tree

• Enrique Villacana Palomares, a kidnapped Mexican columnist, found with his throat cut

• Colombia: Mauricio Moreno Medina, a community radio journalist, stabbed to death and Arsenio Zambvrano Ocampo, found in his home, gagged and bound and stabbed 10 times

Full details are available on the INSI website.