I thought the pen was mightier than the sword, but I wasn’t aware that some sophisticated weapons are mightier than the pen.
According to the Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) report titled “Round Up 2020: Journalists Killed,” about 50 Journalists have been killed in connection with their work, 387 are currently detained in connection with their work, while about three had died after being subjected to inadequate coronavirus.
“This year’s figure brings the number of journalists killed over the past 10 years to 937.”
The world has been a lion’s den for journalists who work as whistle blowers, investigate planned crimes, and cover other sensitive issues. It takes only a ‘Daniel-journalists’ to scale through the disastrous murder.
READ ALSO; “You still crack me up my WinterRose”- RMD Celebrates Wife as they Mark 20th Wedding Anniversary
The report shows that 42 journalists which accounts for 84% were deliberately targeted and killed, while 8 were killed while reporting.
Among the killed journalists, 45 have been identified as professional journalists, 1 non-professional journalist, and 4 media workers.
Also, RSF reported that 49 journalists among the 50 Journalists work with local/national news firms, while one (1) worked with an international news firm.
The distribution by gender shows that, female journalists were also not spared in the mayhem. 2 female journalists were killed in 2020 while 48 are male journalists.
It is bewildering that 68% of the death cases were recorded in countries not in war. While “the number of journalists killed in war zones keeps on falling.”
This report reveals that countries “at peace” are war zones for investigative journalists who seek to unravel corrupt acts in the society and echo the voice of the voiceless.
Top Deadliest Countries for Journalists
Mexico tops the list of the deadliest zone for investigative journalists, after recording the highest number of 8 journalists killed from January 1 – December 15, 2020. Journalists who exposes drug traffic and corrupt politicians have been gruesomely killed.
Among them are; “Julio Valdivia Rodríguez, a reporter for the daily El Mundo, who was beheaded in the eastern state of Veracruz. Víctor Fernando Álvarez Chávez, the editor of the local news website Punto x Punto Noticias, was cut to pieces.”
Honduras is the second deadliest zone for pressmen with the death of Luis Almendares, a freelancer who criticised local corruption and police violence. Several murder cases that have gone unpunished have made the country the second on the list.
Execution in the Middle East and Central Asia
It was a gruesome case in the Middle East and Central Asia as journalists were executed for performing their duties.
Rouhollah Zam, the editor of the Amadnews website and Telegram news channel and Malalai Maiwand, a journalist with Enekaas TV and representative of the Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists (CPAWJ) were executed in the course of their duties.
Iraq recorded six journalists killed, India also lost several journalists who were brutally killed.
The death toll also continued in Pakistan and Phillippines.
In Africa, Nigeria tops the list of deadliest place for investigative journalists with the death of Onifade Pelumi, whose body was found in a mogue after being detained in the police custody during the #EndSARS protest.
Now that everywhere is unsafe for journalists, where do we run to? Who do we call to echo our whispers?
The continuous killing of journalists is a threat to the rule of law, a threat to a peaceful society, a threat to accountability and transparency. But who will fight this for us especially in Nigeria?
Alas, they are busy debating how to regulate the social media in disguise of curbing hate speeches.