Thirty-two media personnel killed, thirty-three others injured
“ISIS and “Houthi” groups deemed most dangerous media freedom abusers in Arab world during first half of 2015 – Sanad
– A total of 1,462 violations against 550 journalists and 105 media outlets were documented by Sanad during the first half of this year
– Some 135 journalists were subject to physical abuse and 77 sustained injuries during media coverage
– Sixty-two journalists were arbitrary arrested and a same number were subjected to unfair trials
– Journalists who lost their lives in the Arab world from 2012 until June 2015 reached 214
Defenders of Media Freedom in the Arab World Network, Sanad, announced the death of 32 media personnel during the first six months of the year. Those deaths took place in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya.
Run by the Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ), Sanad said “ISIS” has been responsible for the killing of fifteen journalists in Iraq and one in Syria, while the Houthi group kidnapped 29 reporters in Yemen since the start of the year.
Armed groups have been committing the most dangerous infringements against media freedom in the Arab world since the beginning of 2015, ahead of the regimes’ security apparatuses.
This report is the first semi-annual statement to be issued by Sanad, which used to publish annual reports, in addition to regular monthly ones, that document violations against press freedom in the region.
The report showed that a total of 23 media personnel has been purposely killed, while nine others murdered during media coverage.
Sanad voiced its concern over the growing targeting and killing of journalists, making the Arab world the most dangerous place for media workers.
The network noted that a total of 214 journalists have been killed between 2012 until June of this year.
It highlighted that those who commit crimes and violations against media personnel often escape liability, stressing that Sanad has not yet documented any case of serious trial or perusing perpetrators since the past three years.
Statistics from the first six months of the year showed that 14 media workers were killed by “ISIS” in Iraq after being abducted, while another journalist was killed by the armed group in Syria.
In addition, six media staff were killed in Libya and one in Yemen, while the identity of the perpetrators is still unknown.
As for killing journalists during media coverage, statistics showed that nine journalists were killed in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
In Syria, two journalists were killed during confrontations between the army and “Deash” and a third killed during covering armed conflicts between the Najba’a movement, an armed group, and “ISIS”.
In Yemen, four media workers were killed during the Decisive Storm Operation, with two killed after being kidnapped by the Houthi group.
It is worth mentioning that the forced disappearance and kidnapping of journalists are on the rise, with Sanad documenting the abduction of 33 media people, of whom 29 were kidnapped in Yemen by the Houthis and two in Iraq by “ISIS”.
In Syria, the armed groups kidnapped a member of the Syrian Federation of Journalists’ executive office, while an unknown group took journalists Mohammad Al Maghayer, who works as an advisor for the Dutch diplomatic delegation at the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Al Magahyer, who resides in Gaza, was kidnapped for eight hours.
Since the beginning of the year until June, Sanad has documented 1,462 cases of abuse against 550 journalists and 105 media outlets. Of the total cases, 48 were deemed as collective abuse.
Egypt ranked first in the number of abuses, which reached 266, followed by Yemen by 217 and the Israeli occupation authorities, which committed 182 violations against Palestinian journalists in the West Bank.
The number of abuses Sanad managed to document in Sudan stood at 135, followed by Iraq, 129, Tunis, 121, Morocco, 104, Syria, 58 and Jordan 53.
Abuses committed against journalists in territories deemed under the jurisdiction of the West Bank reached 24, the vast majority of which were committed by the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatuses.
Moreover, a total of 28 abuses took place in Algeria, followed by Lebanon 25, Somalia 19, Libya 15, Qatar 13, Mauritania 12, Bahrain 5, the UAE 4, and Saudi Arabia 2.
Sanad report documented 50 types of infringements against media personnel, with coverage ban ranking the most popular, followed by physical abuse at 153, while 62 journalists were subject to arbitrary arrests and 62 to unfair trials.
The report showed that some 53 media workers were subject to detention, 44 to harm threats and 24 to security interrogations.
Moreover, a total of 16 journalists were threatened to be killed over press publications, mainly in Iraq and Yemen, while five were subject to torture.