121 journalists killed worldwide in 2009: Study

121 journalists killed worldwide in 2009: Study

Bulgarian police investigators speak to eyewitness at a crime scene after gunmen shot and killed a prominent crime journalist Bobbie Tsankov in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Tuesday. AP Photo

Last year saw the largest number of press people's deaths ever since the Geneva-based PEC began to compile such estimates, the study said on Tuesday.

Thirty-three percent more journalists were killed in 25 countries in 2009 than the year before (91 people). The largest number of journalists (38) were killed in the Philippines, with 31 journalists being executed within one day in November. They were covering the election campaign in the southern province of Maguindanao.

PEC points out that there has been no improvement in the situation in this respect in Mexico, where 13 journalists died "in the fight against narcotics and their trafficking". Somalia, where nine pressmen were killed within the year, is third in the list
Marked improvements in this respect have come about in Iraq.

Although six journalists lost their lives there in 2009, this was a fraction of death toll in past years (50 people in 2007, for example).

PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen has pointed out that ten journalists were killed in 2009 every month on average by armed or criminal groups, governments or as a result of terrorist acts.

The non-governmental organization has announced that it is planning once again to urge the United Nations Council on Human Rights to convene a special session to discuss matters concerning the protection of journalists. (Itar-Tass)

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