Journalist deaths to rise 50% by 2022, mainly fueled by increases in Ukraine, Mexico and Haiti, report says

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The number of journalists killed last year was 50% higher than in 2021, mainly in Haiti, Ukraine and Mexico, a new report said on Tuesday.

Last year was the deadliest for journalists since 2018, with 67 or more news media workers killed, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in its annual report. At least 41 of them were targeted for their work, the press freedom advocacy group said, while motives for the other 26 are still under investigation.

Ukraine saw 15 members of the press killed, Mexico 13 and Haiti seven. It was the highest numbers of journalists CPJ has ever recorded for any country.

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In Haiti, some died at the hands of violent street gangs rampaging in the country’s capital, but at least two were shot by police.

“Reporting in Haiti is extremely difficult for journalists today, particularly in the capital,” said Mackenson Remy, a reporter for Radio Caraibes. “Corruption is everywhere; there is no one you can count on.”

Journalists in Ukraine are at “huge risk,” CPJ said. “Members of the press are often wounded by shelling while covering the conflict, and some report being targeted by Russian forces.”

The murders in Mexico are marked and driven by impunity, as with the murder of Tijuana crime photographer Margarito Martinez on January 17, 2022, followed just five days later by that of Lourdes Maldonado Lopez.

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Those who ordered the hits were never arrested and sent the message, the CPJ said, that “anyone can come over and kill you for $1,000.”

The grim count also included the murder of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German, who was stabbed to death outside his home on Sept. 2, allegedly by a local politician who was investigating German. Former county executive Robert Telles was arrested after being discovered with self-inflicted gunshot wounds and charged with murder. Telles pleaded not guilty and will stand trial on April 17.

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Also featured was the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, shot by an Israeli soldier while covering an Israeli military raid on Jenin, a West Bank city, for Al Jazeera. The Israeli authorities have not launched an investigation, but the FBI has announced that it will.

Even as CPJ released its report, the group recorded yet another journalist attack, a bomb going off outside journalist Victor Mambor’s home in Jayapura, Papua province. He was not injured.

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