International News Safety Institute (INSI), revealed on its website that 17 news media staff had died violently in April alone.
INSI said it was the bloodiest April recorded for the news media in the past five years and the worst month in a year that had suffered 42 deaths in 22 countries so far. These statistics surpassed the 37 counted over the first four months of last year. In 2009, there were 133 deaths recorded.
“…this is a stark reminder of the terrible price we pay for our news around the globe,” said INSI Director Rodney Pinder.
INSI said it backed a call for one minute’s silence in newsrooms around the world to honour more than 1 500 journalists and other news media that had died trying to cover stories over the past 14 years.
UNESCO had called on the one minute of silence, saying this gesture of respect should take place every year on World Press Freedom Day. It also said the murder of journalists should also be denounced.
INSI and other journalist support groups had found that in more than eight out of 10 cases of journalist murdered, no one was brought to justice. In some countries the prosecution rate was 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 said most killings this year had taken place in Honduras, Mexico, Pakistan, Colombia and Nigeria. Other countries in INSI’s casualty listings were Nepal, Venezuela, Cyprus, Russia, Ecuador, Turkey, Afghanistan, Angola, Yemen, India, Congo, South Africa, Philippines, Latvia, Cameroon, Iraq and Thailand.
“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.