At least 68 journalists killed in 2009
At least 68 journalists were killed in 2009, with the largest death toll in the Philippines, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Thursday, dpa reported.
More than 30 media persons were slaughtered in the Philippine province of Maguindanao during November's electoral campaign, CPJ said. Twenty nine journalists and two supporting staff were among the 57 people murdered in an ambush mounted by rival political clans.
CPJ said it was still investigating the deaths of 20 other journalists in 2009 to confirm whether they were work-related.
In 2007, 67 journalists were killed worldwide.
"This has been a year of unprecedented devastation for the world's media, but the violence also confirms long-term trends," CPJ executive director Joel Simon said in the year-end report.
"Most of the victims were local reporters covering news in their own communities," he said.
Nine local journalists were murdered or killed in combat situations in Somalia. Among the dead was Said Tahill Ahmed, director of independent broadcaster HornAfrik, who was gunned down in Mogadishu with others when they were walking to a press conference.
Four journalists were killed in Pakistan, including Musa Khanhel, a local TV reporter
Other journalists were killed in Russia, Mexico and Sri Lanka.
"As in past years, murder was the leading cause of work-related deaths in 2009," CPJ said. "At least 50 journalists were targeted and slain in retaliation for their work, representing about three- quarters of the deaths in 2009."