Fewer journalists were killed in the first six months of 2023 – the lowest figure recorded for more than 15 years, according to the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), a non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. PEC said on July 6, 2023 that “Since January, 27 journalists have paid for their profession with their lives in 17 countries.”
The organization’s President, Mr. Blaise Lempen, noted in the statement issued in Geneva, that “This figure is still too high, but it is moving in the right direction. There is hope that the mobilisation of governments, the UN, the media and NGOs is beginning to show results”, adding that all these crimes must be fully and independently investigated and those responsible arrested and brought to justice.
PEC recalled that in 2022, for the same period, which was marked by the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a record 75 journalists had been killed, with the total tally for that year ending up at 116. For the previous year, 2021, the organization recorded 36 journalists killed by the half year mark while the number recorded for the whole of 2021 was 79.
According to PEC, the measures taken in Ukraine to limit journalists’ access to combat zones and strictly control their accreditation have had an effect, despite the deaths of two journalists in the country since January. It named those killed as Ukrainian Bogdan Bitik, working for La Repubblica, and Frenchman Arman Soldin, a reporter for AFP, both of whom were shot at by Russian soldiers.
It said from January to June 30, the number of journalists killed was highest in Mexico, with four murders, adding that Mexico remains the most dangerous country for journalists, with an ongoing climate of violence.
PEC also reported that three journalists were murdered in Cameroon, two in Afghanistan, two in Bangladesh, two in Haiti, two in India and two in Ukraine.
It also recorded one victim in each of the following countries: Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Lesotho, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda and the United States of America.
PEC observed that although the number of deaths is falling, arbitrary arrests, beatings, threats and censorship continue to be the lot of many journalists on every continent.
It deplored the continued crackdown in Russia and the extension of Julian Assange’s detention in the United Kingdom
PEC’s full list of journalists so far killed in 2023 is as follows:
JANUARY 2023: 1 Ashiqul Islam (C),Daily Monitor/Brahmanbaria Patrika,Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh, Jan 9 – 2 John Williams Ntwali (under investigation), The Chronicles/Tax TV, Kimihurura (Kigali), Rwanda, Jan 18 – 3 Martinez Zogo (C/T), radio Amplitude FM, Yaoundé, Cameroon, Jan 22 – 4 Michael Finlay (C), CBC, Toronto, Canada, Jan 31
FEBRUARY 2023: 5 Jean-Jacques Ola Bebe (C/T), radio presenter, Yaounde, Cameroon, Feb 2 – 6 Shashikant Warishe (C/T), Mahanagari Times, Rajapur area, Maharashtra, India, Feb 7 – 7 Alexander Alvarez (C), Radio Urundey, Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay, Feb 14 – 8 Abisal Perez Romero (C/T), Son Politikon FM, Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico, Feb 14 – 9 Ramiro Arauja Ochoa (C), Sol Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, Feb 21 – 10 Dylan Lyons (C), Spectrum News 13, Prime Hills, Orlando, Florida, USA, Feb 22
MARCH 2023: 11 Husein Naderi (C/T), Afggan Voice Agency, Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province, Afghanistan, March 11 – 12 Akmal Nazari (C/T), Afghan Voice agency, Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province, Afghanistan, March 11 – 13 Mandizabal Galvez (C/T), Visor de Villa Canales, Guatemala City, Guatemala, March 18
APRIL 2023. 14 Dumesky Kersaint (C), Radio Tele INUREP, Carrefour, Haiti, Apr 15 – 15 Ricot Jean C/T), Radio-Tele Evolution Inter, Saint-Marc, Haiti, Apr 25 – 16 Bogdan Bitik (A), La Repubblica, Kherson, Ukraine, Apr 26
MAY 2023: 17 Imtiaz Baig (C/T), Samaa TV, Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan, May 4 – 18 Anye Nde Nsoh (C/T), The Advocate, Bamenda, Cameroon, May 7 – 19 Arman Soldin (A), AFP, Chasiv Yar (Bakhmut), Ukraine, May 9 – 20 Luis Gabriel Pereira (C/T), Notiorense, Cienaga de Oro (Cordoba), Colombia, May 9 – 21 Gerardo Torres Renteria (C), Telemundo, Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, May 11 – 22 Ralikonelo Leqhashaha Joki (C/T), Ts’enolo FM radio station, Maseru, Lesotho, May 14 – 23 Griselda Blanco (C/T), Curuzu Cuatia, Corrientes, Argentina, May 20 – 24 Marco Aurelio Ramirez Hernandez (C/T), radio Estereo Luz FM, Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico, May 23 – 25 Cresenciano Bunduquin (C/T), radio DWXR 101.7 FM, Calapan, Mindoro oriental, Philippines, May 31
JUNE 2023: 26 Golam Rabbani Nadim (C/T), Banglanews24, Mymensingh, Bangladesh, June 15 – 27 Abdur Rauf Alamgir (C/T), TNL, Boko, Assam, India,. June 26
JULY 2023. 28 Luis Martin Sanchez Iniguez (C/T), La Jordnada, El Ahuacate, Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, July 9