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129 journalists killed, 427 imprisoned worldwide in 2023 - report

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Africa lost eight journalists under different circumstances, and there was one accidental killing in Rwanda.

The year 2023 was one of the deadliest for journalists since the inception of the IFJ Killed List by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in 1990.

The IFJ has released its 33rd annual report, which reports the killing of 129 media professionals, among them 14 women.

The deaths increased sharply from October, with an alarming 70 per cent of these fatalities occurring within Gaza, where a war with Israel started that month, the IFJ's 2023 Killed List shows.

The Middle East and the Arab world emerged as the most dangerous regions, with 93 killings recorded. Eighty-three occurred in Palestine, four in Israel, and three each in Lebanon and Syria, all following the commencement of the Gaza conflict on October 7.

Despite the harrowing mortality rate in the Gaza conflict, journalists faced danger across the globe. In the Asia-Pacific, 12 were killed, while the Americas witnessed the loss of 11 media professionals.

Africa lost eight journalists under different circumstances, and there was one accidental killing in Rwanda, while Europe saw four fatalities.

Two of the journalists killed in Africa are shown in the infographic below:

Source: 2023 IFJ Killed List.

Other journalists killed in Africa were as follows:

Source: 2023 IFJ Killed List.

The IFJ's initial list of killed journalists was released ahead of UN Human Rights Day on December 8, 2023, and the final list was published on December 31.

However, further investigations revealed an increase in the total count, particularly in Gaza. Eight more cases of local journalists killed at the end of 2023 were verified and added to the annual report in early 2024.

In addition to fatalities, the report highlights an alarming number of journalists and media workers imprisoned worldwide in 2023. The total for the year was 427, and China topped the list with 80. It was followed by Myanmar with 51, Turkey with 41, Russia with 40, and Belarus with 35.

Source: 2023 IFJ Killed List.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger urged urgent action, stating, "The deadly figures from this year illustrate how badly we need an internationally binding instrument forcing states to adopt key mechanisms to protect journalists' safety and independence."

He noted that journalists should not have to risk their lives to uphold the public's right to information, and called on governments to ensure their protection and uphold democratic principles.

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