Point  Blank

● A well-known Russian journalist Tatyana Felgenhauer was stabbed in the throat recently by an unidentified attacker who burst into the office of Ekho Moskvy an  Independent radio studio in Moscow.

●  A few days back an investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, who exposed her island nation’s links to offshore tax havens using the leaked Panama Papers was killed in a car bombing.

● On September 5 Senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru, india. It was the latest in a string of attacks on journalists worldwide. Three killings in three different countries within two months.

Why they were killed or attacked

● Ekho Moskvy’s programmes have often been critical of the government, irking many in Russian political circles. Its hosts and journalists have previously reported death threats. Another popular Ekho Moskvy host fled Russia in September following a suspected arson attack on her car.

● Caruana Galizia ran a blog called Running Commentary that was so popular and influential that it helped cause a political crisis when she accused PM Joseph Muscat’s wife of benefiting from a secret Panamanian shell company that was used to deposit unexplained payments from Azerbaijan’s ruling family . Muscat, who has denied wrongdoing, called a snap election in June, which his Labour Party won, giving him a second term.

In a statement, Muscat said he was shocked by the killing. “Everyone is aware that Ms. Caruana Galizia was one of my harshest critics, politically and personally , as she was for others too. However, I can never use, in any way , this fact to justify, in any possible way , this barbaric act that goes against civilisation and all dignity ,“ he said in a statement.

In a Facebook post, Caruana Galizia’s son, Matthew, said his mother was killed because of her work exposing political corruption.

● Ms. Lankesh has been known for her strident stands against communalism in Karnataka. In 2016, she was convicted in a defamation case filed by MP Prahlad Joshi, who had objected to a report against BJP leaders.

Nearly three quarters of the journalists killed in 2016 were victims of “deliberate, targeted violence,” Reporters Without Borders has said.

At least 74 professional and non-professional journalists lost their lives in connection with their work, according to the charity’s annual report.

It said that Syria, where 19 journalists were killed this year, was the world’s most deadliest country for journalists to work in.

Afghanistan, where 10 journalists have been killed, was listed as the second deadliest, followed by Mexico, where nine journalists lost their lives.

Among the dead is 19-year-old Osama Jumaa, a photojournalist for the British news agency Images Live, who was killed on June 5 while covering a rescue operation in Aleppo.

The Syrian conflict is particularly dangerous to cover due to constant, indiscriminate shelling, as well as the risk of being detained by the Syrian regime or kidnapped by jihadist groups.

Five female journalists were also killed, including 32-year-old Anabel Flores Salazar, a crime reporter for the Mexican newspaper El Sol de Orizaba, who was kidnapped on February 8. Her body was discovered the following day on a roadside, with her hands tied and her head covered in a plastic bag.

In 110 journalists were killed globally in 2015. A total of 110 journalists were killed around the world in 2015, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have said, noting that while many died in war zones the majority were killed in “countries at peace”.

In its annual report, the Paris-based organisation said 67 journalists were killed in the line of duty this year – up from 66 in 2014.

It listed war-torn Iraq and Syria are the most dangerous places for journalists, with 11 and 10 deaths respectively, followed by France, where eight journalists were killed in an assault on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

A further 43 journalists around the world died in circumstances that were unclear, the group said. An additional 27 non-professional “citizen-journalists” and seven other media workers were also killed in 2015.


The RSF report also singled out India, where nine journalists have been murdered since the start of 2015 – some of them for reporting on organised crime and its links with politicians, and others for covering illegal mining.

India saw five journalists killed in the course of their work and four for uncertain reasons, which is why it ranked below France where the cause of death was known.

“Their deaths confirm India’s position as Asia’s deadliest country for media personnel, ahead of both Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said RSF, urging the Indian government to establish “a national plan for protecting journalists”.

In Bangladesh, four secular bloggers were killed in acts claimed by local fighters.

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