“Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forego.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Today is World Press Freedom Day, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, is an opportunity to defend the press from attacks on their interdependence and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives carrying out their jobs.
The number of journalists and media workers killed in the line of duty rose again in 2019, according to the International Press Institute (IPI). IPI’s Death Watch lists journalists and media staff whose deaths have been linked to journalism. The Death Watch includes names of journalists who were deliberately targeted because of their profession – either because of their reporting or simply because they were journalists – as well as those who lost their lives while on assignment.
2019: 12 DEATHS
Ahmed Hussein-Suale, Ghana
Ahmed Hussein-Suale, an undercover reporter for the Tiger Eye, was shot dead, on January 16 by unidentified assailants in Accra, Ghana, while on his way home. Prior to his death, Husein had made a complaint to police after his pictures were published on national television. Ahmed was a key member of the Tiger Eye, an investigative journalism group led by award-winning journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas that helped expose corruption in African football has been shot dead in the capital Accra. The group has received several death threats in the past for their investigative reports.
Jesus Eugenio Ramos, Mexico
Jesus Eugenio Ramos, a presenter on the 99.FM radio station for over 20 years, was shot dead on Saturday, February 9, in a restaurant where he was having breakfast, in the Emiliano Zapata municipality in Tabasco. Ramos’ murder comes less than three weeks after the murder of another radio journalists in the state of Baja California. The police are investigating the murder.
Leonardo Gabriel Hernandez, Honduras
Leonardo Gabriel Hernandez, director and presenter of the “El Pueblo Habla” (“The People Speak”) program, was shot dead on March 17, in Nacaome, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the capital Tegucigalpa. Police are investigating the case. Leonardo was critical of the government in his reporting.
Lyra McKee, UK
Lyra McKee, 29, a journalist who wrote for BuzzFeed and The Atlantic, was shot dead on April 18 in Derry, North Ireland, while covering the riots. According to the Guardian, witnesses said a masked gunman fired in the direction of police while journalists and members of the public stood nearby. Police called it a terrorist incident and said they had launched a murder investigation.
Mohamed Ben Khalifa, Libya
Mohamed Ben Khalifa, 35, a photographer and video journalist was killed on Saturday, January 19, by a stray shell south of Tripoli while on the job. Ben Khalifa,a freelancer for Associated Press and other media outlets, died while accompanying a militia patrolling the Qaser Bin Ghashir area south of Tripoli.
Rafael Murúa Manríquez, Mexico
Rafael Murúa Manríquez, 34, director of Radio Kashana, was found dead in Baja California Sur in Mexico on Sunday, January 20. His family and friends had reported him missing earlier that day. Police are investigating the murder. Last November Manríquez reported that he had faced bullying and threats after critical publications related to the administration of José Felipe Prado Bautista mayor of Mulegé.
Rahimullah Rahmin, Afghanistan
Rahimullah Rahmin, 25, a journalist for Radio Hamsada in Taliqan city, capital of Northern Takhar province, was killed when unidentified gunmen fired at the radio station on February 5. The gunmen fled and the police are investigating the murder.
Shafiq Aria, Afghanistan
Shafiq Aria, 26, a journalist for Radio Hamsada in Taliqan city, capital of Northern Takhar province, was killed when unidentified gunmen fired at the radio station on February 5. The gunmen fled and the police are investigating the murder.
Reynaldo López, Mexico
Reynaldo López, a radio presenter, was killed on February 16, and another journalist wounded when unidentified gunmen opened fire on their car in Sonora, Mexico. Police are investigating the case.
Richardo Boechat, Brazil
Richardo Boechat, 66, one of Brazil’s best-known journalists, was killed in a helicopter crash in São Paulo on February 11 while returning from a seminar. Boechat was a news presenter for Radio BandNews FM.
Sultan Mahmoud Khirkhwa, Afghanistan
Sultan Mahmoud Khirkhwa, a journalist for a private television station Zaman, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the eastern province of Khost. An affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killing in a statement issued on March 17. However, the statement does not mention the reason for the murder.
Ziad Al Sharaabi, Yemen
Ziad Al Sharaabi, a video journalist for Abu Dhabi TV, was killed in a bomb attack in a busy market in Mocha, Yemen on January 28. Seven others, including two children, were also killed in the attack. Faisal Al Dabhaani, a reporter for Abu Dhabi TV, was among the 20 people who were injured.