FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain. A New York-based organization dedicated to the safety of the journalists says that the number killed worldwide in retaliation for their work, including Khashoggi, has almost doubled in 2018. Khashoggi was one of the 53 journalists killed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 14, 2018, the commission said. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)
NEW YORK – The number of journalists killed worldwide in retaliation for their work almost doubled this year, as appears from the annual report of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The New York-based organisation found that 34 journalists were killed in retaliation for their work as of Dec. 14, while at least 53 were killed in the general. That compares to 18 retaliation murder among the 47 deaths documented by the commission in 2017.
The report issued Wednesday includes the deaths of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a citizen of Saudi Arabia fiercely critical of the royal regime. Are Oct. 2 the death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has led to tremors on the global political stage around accusations that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved.
Khashoggi lived in self-imposed exile in the United States, and was to the consulate to formalize his divorce, but was instead strangled and dismembered — allegedly by Saudi agents.
Asked whether he believed that the crown prince had ordered Khashoggi’s murder, President Donald Trump said last month, “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.” While the president condemned the violence against journalists, the commission has noted that he has called them “enemies of the people.”
In addition to retribution killings, of journalists killed in combat or crossfire, or on other dangerous missions. The deadliest country for journalists this year is Afghanistan, where 13 journalists were killed, some in the back-to-back blast held by suicide bombers and claimed by the militant group Islamic State, according to the report.
The deadliest single attack on the media in recent AMERICAN history, came on June 28, when a gunman in Annapolis, Maryland, opened fire on the editorial staff of the Capital Gazette, and a deadly shot four journalists and a sales associate. The man had threatened the newspaper after losing a libel lawsuit.
In addition, the commission has said that the imprisonment of the journalists has been on the rise.
“The context of the crisis is varied and complex, and closely connected with changes in the technology have allowed more people to practice journalism, even if it is made journalists a one-off political and criminal groups that once the media to spread their message,” the committee said in its report.
Time magazine last week included imprisoned and killed journalists as “person of the year”, including Khashoggi, Maria Ressa in prison in the Philippines, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo caught in Myanmar, and the staff of the Capital Gazette.
Journalists have also died this year in Slovakia, where the 27-year-old investigative journalist Jan Kuciak was fatally shot, while probing alleged corruption, and in Malta, where Daphne Caruana Galizia, on a similar mission, was killed by a bomb placed in her car. At least four journalists were killed in Mexico, two in Brazil, and the two Palestinian journalists were shot by Israeli soldiers during protests in the Gaza Strip, according to the report.
In Syria and Yemen, two of the worst civil-war decimated countries, the least journalists have been killed since 2011. Three died in Yemen, and in Syria, the committee included nine deaths in comparison with a height of 31 in 2012. However, the decrease may be the result of limited access or extreme risks that discourage media visit, the commission said.