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#118: Pakistan the world’s most dangerous country for journalists – IFJ

Pakistan was the most dangerous country for journalists in 2014, an year when 118 reporters were murdered in targeted killings, bomb attacks or shootings, the International Federation of Journalists said on today.

A total of 118 journalists were killed around the world during the year, an increase from 105 the previous year.

14 of those killed during the year were in Pakistan.  The next most dangerous place was Syria where 12 died.

Another 17 died in accidents or natural disasters while on assignment, according to the Brussels-based IFJ, one of the world’s largest journalists’ organizations.

Nine killings each occurred in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, the federation said.

Eight journalists each were killed in Iraq and Ukraine and two each from Bangladesh and India.

Among those killed were American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Both were beheaded by Islamic State militants, who have seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

The IFJ said its figures were a reminder of the growing threats to journalists, and it called on governments to make protecting members of the media a priority.

“It is time for action in the face of unprecedented threats to journalists who are targeted not only to restrict the free flow of information, but increasingly as leverage to secure huge ransoms and political concessions through sheer violence,” IFJ President Jim Boumelha said.

“As a result, some media organisations are weary of sending reporters to war zones out of fear for their safety, even of using material gathered by freelancers in these areas.

Failure to improve media safety will adversely impact the coverage of war which will be poorer for lack of independent witnesses,” he said.

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