|PEC: 2006 another worst year for journalists|
|Written by Press Emblem Campaign|
|Wednesday, 20 December 2006 03:00|
Geneva - According to the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), this year has set a record for media casualties, 94 to date and 59 in six months since the inauguration of the new Human Rights Council on June 19. Today in Geneva, the PEC denounced this unabated trend.
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The Iraq conflict is still the most deadliest conflict for the third consecutive year killing 48 journalists in 2006 alone, followed by Mexico: 8, Russia: 4, Sri Lanka: 4, the Philippines: 4, Pakistan: 3, Columbia: 3, China: 2, India: 2, Angola:2, Lebanon:2, Ecuador: 1, Venezuela: 1, Somalia:1, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): 1, Sudan: 1, Brazil: 1.
Compared to 2005, this dramatic turn has marked an increase of 38 percent in media casualties which stood at 68 in 2005.
The number of media casualties in Iraq this year has doubled that of 2005 from 24 to 48. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, at least 103 journalists have been killed in Iraq while performing their work. This marks the Iraqi conflict as the most deadly for journalists since the Second World War.
However, Iraq is not the only case of serious media casualties. Eight journalists were killed, without their perpetrators being brought to judgment, in Mexico, country currently chairing the new Human Rights Council.
Another alarming case is that of assassinating four journalists in Russia among them Anna Politkovskaia on October 7, in Pakistan another three were killed, and in the Philippines four were killed. There is no protection of journalists in conflict zones like Sri Lanka, Colombia, Lebanon, Somalia and Afghanistan .
A number of positive developments have taken place this year, among them the report of the UN Special Rapporteur for the Freedom of Expression Ambeyi Ligabo, the draft decision presented by Canada to the Human Rights Council to undertake a study on the issue of the security of journalists in war zones (deferred to 2007), and the draft resolution presented in december to the UN Security Council by France and Greece with the same goal (still pending).
PEC President Hedayat Abdel Nabi urged the Human Rights Council to take a short cut and translate those positive developments in the form of establishing a working group in 2007 to start deliberations on a legal binding instrument to protect media in zones of conflict.
The Geneva base NGO believes that one of the prime responsabilities of the media is to unveil the truth and report closely on human rights violations across the globe. In addition the media represents the moral monitor following the implementation of International Humanitarian Law.