Afghanistan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Columbia, Kyrgzstan, Mexico and Turkey…that is the dismal list of countries where seven journalists have so far died in the line of duty over the past three months.
Since the last World Press Freedom Day 2010 e-newsletter was published in early December 2009, the UNESCO Director General Mrs Irina Bokova has issued media releases condemning each of the deaths.
The most recent journalist to lose his life was Mexican crime reporter Jose Luis Romero, who was found dead on 16 January 2010, two weeks after he was abducted at gunpoint. Romero, who worked for Radio Linea Directa in the Mexican Province of Sinaloa, was reported to have been shot in the head and shoulder.
Mrs Bokova said: “Jose Luis Romero, like too many reporters in Mexico, has paid with his life for our right to be kept informed….The use of force to muzzle reporters constitutes an unacceptable attack on the basic human right of freedom of expression and on society’s right to enjoy press freedom, a cornerstone of democracy and the rule of law.”
Mrs Bokova has also condemned the suicide bombing of the Peshawar Press Club in Pakistan on 22 December, in which four people died and 23 people were injured, including several journalists.