Senegal: CPJ reports 71 journalists killed, 199 others imprisoned in 2015

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – Some 71 journalists were killed worldwide in direct relation to their work in 2015, the  Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) revealed Thursday, describing the year as the fourth deadliest since the media watchdog began keeping records in 1992.

In a statement made available to PANA in Dakar, Senegal, CPJ disclosed that 30 of the journalists killed, or 42 percent, died in the hands of extremist groups such as Islamic State.

''Those killings came as more than half of the 199 journalists imprisoned in 2015 were jailed on anti-state charges, showing how the press is caught between perpetrators of terrorism and governments purporting to fight terrorists,'' it said.

In December, CPJ reported that 69 journalists were killed around the world from January 1 through 23 December 2015.

It pointed out that on 27 December, Naji Jerf, editor-in-chief of the independent monthly Hentah and the maker of documentary films on Islamic State, was murdered in Turkey.

In addition, new information led CPJ to confirm that Ahmed Mohamed al-Mousa was killed in relation to his work as a journalist. Al-Mousa, a 23-year-old editor of ''Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently'', was shot dead in Idlib province on 16 December.

The group of Syrian citizen journalists was honored with CPJ's 2015 International Press Freedom Award in November.

The statement added that in 2015, the fight against impunity in the murders of journalists achieved some success, with at least six convictions worldwide.

CPJ's database of journalists killed for their work in 2015 included capsule reports on each victim and a statistical analysis. It has maintained a database of all journalists killed since 1992.

The statement pointed out that CPJ's advocacy also contributed to the release of at least 50 journalists from prison, while the total number in jail at the time of its annual census declined slightly compared with the past three years.

Of the journalists released, six were featured in the Press Uncuffed campaign, which, in partnership with students at the University of Maryland, seeks to raise awareness of journalists imprisoned worldwide.

"Though journalists still face significant global challenges, there is reason for hope.  In 2016, CPJ will keep the pressure on governments worldwide to allow journalists to work freely and safely," said Courtney Radsch, CPJ's advocacy director.

-0- PANA MLJ/AR /7Jan2016

07 january 2016 17:37:39

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