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94 journalists, media staff killed in 2018

December 31, 2018 at 2:16 pm

A candle light vigil to remember journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate on 25 October 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey [Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

Some 94 journalists and media staff were killed while carrying out their jobs in 2018, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said.

In a new report released today, the Brussels-based trade association said 84 journalists, camerapersons, fixers and technicians died in targeted killings, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents.

Ten other media staff members lost their lives while working as drivers, protection officers and a sales assistant. Six women were among those killed.

IFJ said the 2018 figures marked a slight increase up from 82 killings recorded in 2017 and represented a reversal of the downward trend from the last three years.

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It highlighted the killing of the Washington Post columnist and Saudi national, Jamal Khashoggi, in the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on 2 October.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ’s secretary general, said: “The numbers on this list are a sad reminder that the safety of journalists will remain elusive as long as countries boasting institutions which should be enforcing the law but have been paralyzed by corruption and incompetence in the face of unrelenting assault on journalism.”

In countries like Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen, armed conflict and militant violence killed most journalists while there was a slight drop in violence against journalists in Iraq last year since armed groups lost ground in the country.

The Middle East and the Arab world recorded 20 killings including Palestinians Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein who were killed by Israeli snipers in the besieged Gaza Strip. Eleven journalists lost their lives in Africa.