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UNESCO: 86 journalists killed globally in 2022 — around 50% were off-duty

UNESCO: 86 journalists killed globally in 2022 — around 50% were off-duty
January 16
22:31 2023

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) says 86 journalists and media workers were killed worldwide in 2022.

In a report on Monday, the organisation said the figure shows a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in recent years where the number had dropped to an average of 58 killings per year from 2019 to 2021.

UNESCO said although no region was left out in 2022, Latin America and the Caribbean recorded 44 killings — over half of the total figure worldwide.

“These numbers are a reminder of the growing fissures in rule of law systems worldwide, and highlight states’ failure to fulfil their obligations to protect journalists and prevent and prosecute crimes against them,” the report reads.


UNESCO added that around half of the journalists killed were off-duty when they were targeted — while travelling, in their homes, or in public places.

The organisation said this implies that there are no safe spaces for journalists, even in their spare time.

“While the number of journalists killed in countries in conflict rose to 23 in 2022, compared with 20 the previous year, the global increase was primarily driven by killings in non-conflict countries,” the report reads.


“This number almost doubled from 35 cases in 2021 to 61 in 2022, representing three-quarters of all killings last year.

“These journalists were killed for a variety of reasons, including reprisals for reporting on organised crime, armed conflict or the rise of extremism, and covering sensitive subjects such as corruption, environmental crimes, abuse of power, and protests.”

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO director-general, said the rise in the number of journalists killed in 2022 is alarming.

“Authorities must step up their efforts to stop these crimes and ensure their perpetrators are punished because indifference is a major factor in this climate of violence,” Azoulay added.


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