Last week it was reported that the founder of independent Russian newspaper Chernovik was killed after being shot at 14 times.
The BBC reports that Gadzhimurat Kamalov “was hit by a hail of bullets” as he left his workplace in Dagestanon in the North Caucasus on Thursday, referred to by the Committee to Protect Journalists as the “most dangerous place for reporters” in Russia.
According to the press freedom group, reporters from the title “have been routinely persecuted for their work”.
“The assassination of Gadzhimurad Kamalov is a massive loss for independent journalism in the North Caucasus, Russia’s most dangerous place for reporters,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Russian authorities must immediately, thoroughly, and effectively investigate this terrible crime and bring Kamalov’s killers to justice.”
This was followed with news over the weekend that a journalist working for a Somali television station was also killed after being shot in Mogadishu.
According to a report by Reuters, Abdisalan Sheikh Hasan “was shot dead in the capital Sunday by a man wearing a government soldier’s uniform, witnesses said”.
The address given by ITV News at Ten presenter Mark Austin at St Bride’s Church yesterday (Wednesday), for the service to commemorate journalists who have died while covering conflicts across the world, has been published online.
He opened by talking about his own recent travels with a cameraman to Mogadishu in Somalia, and the “considerable risk” faced. He said the need to resort to protection from armed men “to watch our backs every step of the way” was a cause of “considerable sadness, and in a sense, guilt”.
Sadness, because of what it says about what has happened to our trade. Where once the neutrality and independence of the media was widely recognised and respected, now it’s clear journalists are being specifically targeted or sought out by those who fear the truth emerging. It’s no longer enough to blame the messenger, it seems. Silencing the messenger is all too often the name of the game now. And guilt because of the glaring inequality that now exists in journalism. I can insist on that security in Somalia, I am insured and have the backup of a large organisation with considerable resources and which makes safety a priority. But by and large the journalists we should be thinking about and honouring tonight have no such protection . They are the local reporters and photographers and freelancers in places like Somalia, who put their lives on the line every single day.
See his full address here.
It was widely reported late yesterday that Mexican journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco had been shot dead along with his wife and son after his house was entered by gunmen.
BBC News this morning claimed authorities had not yet determined a motive for the murders which they called a “cowardly” attack.
Mr Lopez Velasco, 55, wrote for the daily newspaper Notiver, where he was also an editor. His columns focussed on crime, drug trafficking and political corruption. In its coverage, Notiver called for a swift and transparent investigation to find those guilty of the three killings.
The Committee to Protect Journalists’ senior program coordinator for the Americas Carlos Lauría said the organisation was “shocked” by the killings and called on the authorities to fully investigate and effectively prosecute those responsible.
The Mexican government must put an end to this endless wave of violence that is eroding the democratic system.
A CPJ report on the killings added that drug-related violence has made Mexico one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press, with 13 Mexican journalists, including López, killed since the beginning of 2010. According to CPJ’s research at least three of those were known to be in direct reprisal for their work.
Living in Limbo: Almost 70 journalists exiled in past year says CPJ
Iraq tops impunity index for fourth time over unsolved journalist killings
Mexican news outlets sign crime coverage pact
You lose your freedom whether you’re a journalist or not – reporting Mexico’s drug wars
The BBC reported today that journalists had held a protest to demonstrate against the killing of Jyotirmoy Dey, an investigative journalist who worked for Mid Day newspaper in Mumbai.
According to reports, Dey was killed after being shot by four men on motorcycles on Saturday, as he returned to his home. Sachin Kalbag, executive editor of the Mid Day newspaper, was quoted as saying Dey brought depth to its investigative reporting and that he worked “with honesty and integrity”.
India appeared on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Impunity Index earlier this month, ranking at number 13, based on the number of unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants.
Press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reports that a journalist, Valério Nascimento, was shot and killed in Brazil on Tuesday. The day of the shooting was also the day the world shone a light on the dangers and issues facing journalists across the world, for World Press Freedom day.
“Nascimento’s murder, which took place on World Press Freedom Day, is a reminder that Brazil is still a dangerous country for journalists despite recent legislative progress and efforts to combat impunity,” Reporters Without Borders said. “He is the second journalist to have been gunned down this year while a third journalist, a blogger, only just survived a murder attempt.”
A motive of the shooting is not yet known, RSF added, urging investigators of the case to “carefully examine the possibility that he was killed in connection with his work as a journalist”.
See the full report here…