ISLAMABAD: As many as 68 journalists and media workers were killed across the world in 2017 of whom nine were women. Last year, 112 journalists were killed of whom three were women according to the International News Safety Institute (INSI).

In 2015, 10 of the 101 journalists killed were women.

“This is the highest proportion of women killed in comparison with their male counterparts in the eight years since I joined INSI and it is a particularly egregious finding in the current climate,” said INSI Director Hannah Storm.

Some of the high profile women killed in 2017 include Kim Wall whose body was discovered in the sea near Copenhagen, Kurdish journalist Shifa Gardi, Gauri Lankesh who became the most high-profile journalist killed in India in recent years and Miroslava Breach who spent the days before her murder in March documenting deaths in Mexico’s death war.

Afghanistan, Mexico, Iraq, Syria and the Philippines were the five most dangerous countries for journalists in 2017, according to ‘Killing the Messenger’, which is compiled for INSI by the Cardiff School of Journalism.

The number of journalists killed this year is lower than in recent years. Of the 68 media casualties, 32 men and women died in countries supposedly at peace such as Mexico, India and Malta.

The majority of casualties were local journalists who lived and worked where they died.

Four citizen journalists lost their lives this year, all but one of them in Syria where access for professional media workers continues to be difficult and dangerous.

INSI identified nine cases where suspects were identified, arrests made and legal proceedings initiated. These include Peter Madsen who has been charged with the murder of Wall and three men charged in connection with the killing of Malta’s Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist blown up by a car bomb in October.

“At INSI we pay tribute to every journalist killed doing their work, whatever their gender, ethnicity or religion. The 68 men and women killed this year have paid the ultimate price and every single one leaves a legacy of loss,” Storm said.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2017

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