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    Syria, Iraq, Egypt most deadly nations for journalists, CPJ report says

    Syria remained the most deadly place for journalists on the job in 2013, while Iraq and Egypt saw a spike in fatal violence. Two-thirds of journalist killings during the year took place in the Middle East, said the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a special report by Elana Beiser, CPJ's editorial director.

    Syria remained the most deadly place for journalists on the job in 2013, while Iraq and Egypt saw a spike in fatal violence. Two-thirds of journalist killings during the year took place in the Middle East, said the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a special report by Elana Beiser, CPJ's editorial director.

    Seventy journalists were killed for their work in 2013, down from 74 in 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its annual analysis. CPJ is investigating the deaths of 25 more journalists in 2013 to establish whether they were work-related.

    Pakistan, Somalia, India, Brazil, the Philippines, Mali, and Russia also saw multiple journalist deaths during the year, although the number of deaths in Pakistan and Somalia declined significantly. Mexico was notably absent from the list, with no deaths confirmed as work-related, according to the CPJ.

    The CPJ report remarked that the proportion of victims who were singled out for murder was 44 percent, less than the historical average. Thirty-six percent of the journalists were killed in combat or crossfire, while 20 percent died during some other type of dangerous assignment.

    The report said the long-standing conflict in Syria claimed the lives of at least 29 journalists in 2013, bringing the number of journalists killed covering the conflict to 63, including some who died over the border in Lebanon or Turkey.

    Syria saw an unprecedented number of kidnappings in 2013; about 60 journalists were abducted at least briefly during the year, according to CPJ research. Late in 2013, at least 30 were still missing. Most were believed held by rebel groups.

    CPJ said at least 10 journalists were killed for their work in Iraq; nine of them murdered, and all during the final quarter of the year.

    Amid stark political polarization and related street violence, things deteriorated dramatically for journalists in Egypt, where six journalists were killed for their work in 2013. Three were killed in a single day, August 14, as they covered raids by Egyptian security forces on demonstrating supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Since 1992, CPJ has documented the deaths of 10 journalists for their work in Egypt—nine of them since anti-government protests began in 2011.

    Iraq and Egypt displaced Pakistan and Somalia, the second and third most deadly countries for journalists in 2012. Five journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2013, the lowest number since eight died for their work in 2010.

    While Somalia continues to be a very dangerous place to practice journalism, the number of confirmed work-related deaths declined to four, plus one media worker, in 2013, compared with a record 12 in 2012. In both years, all of the victims were singled out for murder.

    Mali in 2013 saw its first journalist deaths since CPJ began keeping records in 1992. Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, veteran journalists at Radio France Internationale, were kidnapped as they finished an interview at the home of a Tuareg separatist leader in the remote Sarahan town of Kidal.

    Some other trends that emerged from CPJ’s research:

    In the Philippines, a country long plagued by deadly, anti-press violence, CPJ confirmed that three journalists were killed in reprisal for their work, and is investigating the motive in another six murders. Although it is difficult to determine the motive in many cases in the Philippines, the total number of journalist killings was the highest in four years.

    In Mexico, another country where motives in journalist murders is hard to determine, CPJ could not confirm that any single journalist was killed for his or her work for the first time in a decade. However, CPJ is still investigating three killings to determine the motive.

    Eight of the countries that saw a journalist murdered during 2013 are listed on CPJ’s most recent Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are regularly murdered and the killers go free.

    CPJ documented the deaths of four media workers in 2013.

    During 2013, CPJ documented the 1,000th death since it began keeping records in 1992.

    Prior to the 2011 uprising against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, CPJ had not documented a single work-related death of a journalist in Syria since the organization began keeping detailed records in 1992.

    The worst years on CPJ’s record are 2009 and 2012; 74 journalists were confirmed killed because of their work in each of those years.



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