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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 05.53 GMT
Pillay undone by news safety report

Lanka not in media personnel danger list, INSI report confirms


Not a single journalist was killed in Sri Lanka in the last year under review (2013) and the island is not in the list of the most dangerous countries for journalists, a study by the International News Safety Institute (INSI) revealed.
The findings were the result of an in-depth analysis made by INSI of the circumstances in which members of the news media died last year. The report effectively demolishes claims by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillai, who in her recent report stated that Sri Lanka was not a safe country for journalists, and that the country's media was shackled.

In her report on Sri Lanka to be submitted to the UNHRC sessions in March the High Commissioner reiterates "concern about the continuing trend of attacks on freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, particularly against human rights defenders, journalists and families of victims."

However nowhere in the INSI findings has Sri Lanka ever been mentioned.

Carried out for INSI by the Cardiff School for Journalism in the UK, the annual report, entitled 'Killing The Messenger', provides information about the 134 journalists and media staff who were killed doing their work in 29 countries.

Sri Lanka does not figure anywhere in the list of these countries. This is the true picture that mirrors the state of media freedom in Sri Lanka which is at complete variance with what is portrayed by the West and the local NGOs in their pay.

The INSI is publishing an in-depth analysis of the causes, countries and circumstances in which members of the news media died last year. Syria bloodiest country for journalists for second year running. Over 92 percent of those killed were local journalists . Syria and Pakistan retained their position among the world's five most dangerous countries for journalists. Iraq, the Philippines and India were also in the top five this year.

Twenty journalists died in Syria, which was the bloodiest country for journalists for a second year. Sixteen died in Iraq, 14 died in the Philippines, 13 died in India and nine died in Pakistan.

The toll is down by almost 12 percent compared to the 152 who died in 2012, although INSI is worried by what appears to be a rise in the numbers of assaults, threats and kidnappings of journalists - which go unreported for the most part. 'Killing the Messenger' shows that 65 journalists lost their lives in armed conflict situations, however most journalists (69) were killed in peacetime covering issues such as crime and corruption. Most journalists were targeted, and shooting was the most common cause of death (63 percent of such cases). However, 18 died in accidents - eight of them on the road. Other accidents included four journalists killed by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, one journalist killed on a construction site in China and one killed by an elephant in India.

As a safety organisation, INSI records all deaths, whether deliberate, accidental or health-related, of all news media staff, support staff and freelancers while on assignment or as a result of their news organisation being attacked because of its work.

Courtesy : Daily News







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Last modified: February 25, 2014.

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