90% journalist killers haven't been convicted: UNESCO

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose murder once again brought forth the vulnerability of journalists. AFP Photo

In the past two years (2017-2018), 55 per cent of journalists' killings happened in non-conflict zones, highlighting the rising trend of newsmen being targeted for their reporting on politics, crime, and corruption, the UNESCO has said in a report.

The UNESCO further notes that nearly 90 per cent of those responsible for the killing of 1,109 journalists around the world from 2006 to 2018 have not been convicted.

The report shows that in the past two years (2017-2018), 55 per cent of journalists' killings happened in non-conflict zones.

This trend exemplifies the changing nature of killings of journalists, who are often targeted because of their reporting on politics, crime, and corruption.

The report -- Intensified Attacks, New Defences -- was published a day ahead of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2.

The report also recorded an 18 per cent increase in killings of journalists in the past five years (2014-2018) compared to the previous 5-year period.

The Arab states make up the deadliest part of the world for journalists, accounting for 30 per cent of the killings, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean region (26%) and the Asia and Pacific States (24%), the report said.

UNESCO has so far recorded fewer killings in 2019 than at the same time last year, with 43 journalist killings condemned by the Organisation's Director-General as of October 30, 2019, compared to 90 at the same date in 2018.

"UNESCO holds to account all those who put journalists at risk, all those who kill journalists, and all those who do nothing to stop this violence," UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said.

Meanwhile, UNESCO is launching the #KeepTruthAlive global communication campaign developed pro bono by the creative agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB Paris).

The campaign aims to draw attention to the dangers faced by journalists close to home. The report said 93 per cent journalists who are killed are local journalists. 

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