UNITED NATIONS: Fifty-five journalists and media professionals were killed last year, with nearly nine in 10 killings since 2006 still unresolved, the latest UN data showed.

Women journalists continue to be particularly at risk as they also have to face “a shocking prevalence of harassment online”, said the report released in New York on Thursday.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Orga­nisation (Unesco), which collected the data, stated that nearly three-quarters of female media professionals surveyed had experienced online violence linked to their work. According to the report, 1,490 journalists have been killed across the globe since 1993, including in places like Britain and the United States of America where seven journalists were killed during this period. Two journalists were killed in Britain in 2019.

In Pakistan, 85 journalists have been killed since 1993, including four killed in 2021. In India, 52 journalists have been killed since 1993, five in 2021.

Eighty-one journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since 1993 and eight in 2021. Twenty-four journalists have been killed in Bangladesh, two in 2021.

“Once again in 2021, far too many journalists paid the ultimate price to bring truth to light,” Unesco Director General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement issued in New York.

“Right now, the world needs independent, factual information more than ever. We must do more to ensure that those who work tirelessly to provide this can do so without fear,” she added. The majority of deaths in 2021 took place in just two regions — the Asia-Pacific, with 23 killings, and Latin America and the Caribbean, with 14.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2022

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