At least 30 journalists were killed in 2020, of which 21 were "singled out for murder in retaliation for their work", according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The number of murdered journalists have doubled from last year's figure of 10.
The numbers were collated for the period from January 1 to December 15, 2020. The organisation said it's still investigating the deaths of 15 other journalists worldwide.
Two of the murders counted for 2020 were in India: journalist Rakesh Singh who died in Balrampur in November after his house was set on fire, and journalist Shubham Mani Tripathi who was shot and killed in Kanpur in June. The other murders took place in Mexico, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Honduras and Yemen, among others.
The number of combat-related deaths, in contrast, dropped to three in 2020: the lowest level since 2000, the report said. Six other journalists died while on "dangerous assignments", such as covering a protest that turns violent. The report did not count journalists who died of illness, or those killed in car or plane accidents "unless the crash was caused by hostile action".
The report stated that politics was the most dangerous beat this year, and "criminal groups" were the "most frequently suspected killers of journalists".
A press release quoted CJP's executive director Joel Simon as saying: "It’s appalling that the murders of journalists have more than doubled in the last year, and this escalation represents a failure of the international community to confront the scourge of impunity."
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