Asia-Pacific Ranked ‘Worst’ Area For Journalists In 2013

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Asia-Pacific Ranked ‘Worst’ Area For Journalists In 2013 IFJ says about 108 killed around the world over past year

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 31, 2013) – The Asia-Pacific region has been reported as the worst area for journalists to work in 2013, accounting for 29 per cent of deaths of journalists and media professionals in the world.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said on Tuesday approximately 108 journalists and media professionals were killed around the world doing their jobs this year.

The death toll is down 10 per cent from 2012 but the IFJ said governments still need to do more to "stem the bloodbath in the media."

"Levels of violence are still unacceptably high and there is an urgent need for governments to protect and enforce journalists' basic right to life," it said in a statement.

The group issued what is said was a "desperate appeal for governments across the world to end impunity for violence against journalists and media staff."

The IFJ listed conflict-torn Syria as the most dangerous country with 15 journalist deaths, followed by Iraq on 13, Pakistan, the Philippines and India with 10 each, Somalia seven and Egypt six.

The Middle East and Arab world accounted for 27 per cent of deaths.

The IFJ, which represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries according to its website, said female journalists were facing increased levels of violence.

Six were killed in 2013 and many others were the victims of sexual violence and intimidation, it said.

Earlier this month, media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders said 71 journalists were killed in 2013.

Those statistics show a slight decrease from previous years, but kidnappings rose sharply.

The IFJ figures include media workers such as film crew and presenters.

Separately, the Vienna-based International Press Institute put the number of killed journalists so far this year at least 117, making 2013 the second deadliest year on its Death Watch since it started counting work-related journalist deaths in 1997.

It said the Middle East and North Africa were the deadliest regions, with 38 deaths overall.

The worst year was 2012, with 132 journalists killed, 39 of them covering the Syrian conflict, the IPI said.

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