38 journalists killed in 20 countries in first half of 2019: PEC

38 journalists killed in 20 countries in first half of 2019: PEC

As many as 38 journalists were killed in 20 countries from January till the end of June this year, according to a report released by Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC).

The figure is a positive development since it is a 42 percent decrease from the same period last year. However, the trend remains very worrying in Mexico and Afghanistan, said PEC, a non-governmental organization with special consultative United Nation status founded by an international group of journalists. Nine journalists have been killed in Mexico and six in Afghanistan alone.

The reporters further stated, terrorist groups in Afghanistan and criminal groups in Mexico are chiefly responsible for the casualties of media workers.

“The international community must establish an independent mechanism that can fight impunity when the national institutions are not efficient nor sufficient in order to fill the gaps in prevention, protection and prosecution,” said PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen.

Latin America is the most affected continent with 15 journalists killed. Due to the lower intensity of conflict in Syria and Iraq, there is an improvement in the Middle East, according to PEC.

The PEC, in order to meet its goal to reduce at least by half the casualties among media workers around the world set last year, has called upon governments, associations and civil society to continue to engage on the issue of the safety of journalists.

The PEC aims at strengthening the legal protection and safety of journalists in conflict zones, areas of civil unrest or on dangerous missions.