NEW YORK: The number of journalists killed in the line of duty rose sharply in 2012, as the war in Syria (28), a record number of shootings in Somalia (12), continued violence in Pakistan (7), and a worrying increase in Brazilian (4) murders contributed to a 42 percent increase in deaths from the previous year. Internet journalists were hit harder than ever, while the proportion of freelancers was again higher than the historical average, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its yearly analysis.
Pakistan, the deadliest place for journalists in 2010 and 2011, dropped two notches this year, but the number of fatalities held steady at seven. Four of those killings took place in Baluchistan, Pakistan’s poorest region and a scene of protracted violence between separatists, anti-separatists, various tribes and ethnic groups, Pakistani security forces and intelligence agencies, and groups aligned with the Taliban. Among the victims was Abdul Haq Baloch, a correspondent for ARY Television, who was shot in September as he was leaving the Khuzdar Press Club, where he served as secretary-general. The authorities have held no one accountable in the killing, which is the near-universal result in media murders in both the region and across the nation.
“The fact that journalists are targeted so frequently in Baluchistan has to do with the nationalist movement,” said Malik Siraj Akbar, founder and editor of The Baloch Hal and a native of Baluchistan who now lives in the United States. “There is a revolt across the entire province of Baluchistan against the government. As one journalist gets killed in Khuzdar, and the government takes no action, it promotes a culture of impunity and emboldens the targeting of journalists elsewhere.”
CPJ began compiling detailed records on all journalist deaths in 1992. CPJ staff members independently investigate and verify the circumstances behind each death. CPJ considers a case work-related only when its staff is reasonably certain that a journalist was killed in direct reprisal for his or her work; in combat-related crossfire; or while carrying out a dangerous assignment. If the motives in a killing are unclear, but it is possible that a journalist died in relation to his or her work, CPJ classifies the case as “unconfirmed” and continues to investigate.
CPJ’s database of journalists killed for their work in 2012 includes capsule reports on each victim and a statistical analysis. CPJ also maintains a database of all journalists killed since 1992. A final list of journalists killed in 2012 will be released in early January.
List of 7 Journalist killed in Pakistan in 2012
1-Mukarram Khan Aatif, Freelance, January 17, 2012, in Shabqadar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
2-Razzaq Gul, Express News TV, May 19, 2012, in Turbat, Baluchistan, Pakistan.
3-Abdul Qadir Hajizai, WASH TV, May 28, 2012, in Quetta, Baluchistan, Pakistan.
4-Abdul Haq Baloch, ARY TV, September 29, 2012, in Khuzdar, Baluchistan Pakistan.
5-Mushtaq Khand, Dharti TV and Mehran, October 7, 2012, in Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan.
6-Rehmatullah Abid, Dunya TV, Intikhaab, November 18, 2012, in Panjgur, Baluchistan, Pakistan.
7-Saqib Khan, Ummat, November 22, 2012, in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.
For detailed report of Committee to Protect Journalists click: HERE