BRASÍLIA, Brazil – Brazilian Army soldiers recently participated in a training exercise in which terrorists unleashed a chemical weapons attack during the Confederations Cup. The drill was part of security preparations leading to soccer tournament, which will be held from June 15-30. (Evaristo Sa/AFP)
VIENNA, Austria – More journalists have been killed this year while on assignment than at any time in the last 15 years, according to the International Press Institute (IPI), a Vienna-based media watchdog.
A total of 119 journalists have died so far this year, IPI’s Death Watch survey found, exceeding the number of deaths in any year since it started keeping track in 1997.
The previous highest figure had been 110 deaths in 2009. Last year, 103 journalists were killed.
Syria was the deadliest country for media this year, with 36 journalists killed. Sixteen were killed in Somalia, while Mexico was the next most-dangerous country with seven deaths.
This confirmed “the alarming trend, which IPI has witnessed in most conflicts of the past 15 years, in which journalists are targeted to prevent distribution of information,” IPI said in a prepared statement.
IPI’s figures differ from those of other media watchdogs such as Reporters without Borders (RSF), as it includes not just targeted killings but all journalist deaths on the job.
[AFP (Austria), 23/11/2012; Veja (Brazil), 22/11/2012; Jornada (Mexico), 22/11/2012; IPI (Austria), 21/11/2012]