The RSF said that 1,668 journalists have been killed worldwide since 2003, adding that nearly 600 of them have been killed only in Iraq and Syria.
“During the past two decades, 80% of the media fatalities have occurred in 15 countries. The two countries with the highest death tolls are Iraq and Syria, with a combined total of 578 journalists killed in the past 20 years, or more than a third of the worldwide total. They are followed by Afghanistan, Yemen and Palestine. Africa has not been spared, with Somalia coming next,” read a press release by the organisation.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in November that Iraq and Syria remained among top five countries where killers of journalists continue to be unpunished.
Syria has been in a civil war for more than a decade. It has been seen as a dangerous place not only for journalists but for activists as well, especially in rebel-held areas in northwestern towns.
Journalists across Iraq have been targeted since the outbreak of Iraq’s protest movement in October 2019 across central and southern parts of the country. Scores have been arrested, kidnapped and shot dead since the demonstrations began. Militia groups have been accused of threatening and killing journalists.