37 newsmen killed in the line of duty last year
NEW YORK- A total of 37 journalists were killed worldwide as a direct result of their work in 2001, a sharp increase from 2000 when 24 were killed, according to a report released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The report said that the dramatic rise was mainly due to the war in Afghanistan, where eight journalists were killed in the line of duty covering the US-led military campaign and a ninth journalist died of wounds sustained there two years ago. This was the highest death toll recorded for a single country since 1999, when 10 journalists were killed in Sierra Leone.
Most of the journalists who were killed last year, however, were not covering combat. They were murdered in reprisal for their reporting on official corruption and crime in countries such as India, Bangladesh, China, Thailand, and Yugoslavia.
CPJ said that 2001 was in some ways a year of anomalies. For the first time since CPJ began keeping detailed records, a journalist was killed in China two journalists were killed in Thailand and one in Costa Rica, where violence against the press is rare.
Meanwhile, no journalists were killed in Africa last year, although 18 had been killed in the previous two years. The number of countries where journalists were murdered more than doubled in the last two years, rising from 10 countries in 1999 to 16 countries in 2000 and up to 22 countries this year.
The most dangerous beat of the past year for journalists worldwide was covering official corruption and crime.