Reporters Without Borders informs that 75 journalists were killed in 2013 because of their work, also 4 media assistants and 37 netizens and citizen-journalists were killed in the same period, most of them in Syria. According to the organisation 10 professional journalists and 36 citizen-journalists were killed in Syria while trying to report about what was happening with the war. That means 46 deaths. There are at least 20 journalists imprisoned and up to 46 kidnapped in Syria, 16 of them foreigners, among them three from Spain.
In addition to this data, Reporters Without Borders has learned that at least three citizen-journalists were among the approximately 50 detainees that the Jihadi group called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) massacred on 6 January before withdrawing from the Qadi Asqar district of Aleppo.
The three known citizen-journalists killed in the massacre were Maher Hasroumi, Amin Abu Ahmad and Sultan Al-Shami. Employed by Shada al Hurriya TV, they and two other colleagues, Abu Younes and Taim Shami were abducted when ISIS attacked the TV station on 26 December.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the massacre with the utmost energy and is appalled by the way ISIS executed its own detainees as it withdrew in the face of an offensive launched against it by other rebel groups. Other detainees were freed.
The massacre was confirmed by the citizen-journalist Milad Al-Shibahi, a newly-freed ISIS detainee, in a video posted on YouTube on 7 January. In the video, Shibahi describes the appalling conditions in which ISIS held its hostages.
About the data related to the situation of the journalists safety in 2013, Iraq was with Syria the country where more professional journalists were killed while doing their job, with 10 killings. Next deadly for journalists where Philippines and India with 8 killings in each country. Then appear Pakistan and Somalia, with 7 killings; Egypt, with 6 journalists killed; Brazil, with 5 killed; Honduras, with 3; Russia, Mali and Mexico with 2 killings in each country and Afghanistan, Colombia, Libya, Paraguay and the DRC with 1 journalist killed in each country.
There are right now 177 professional journalists 14 media assistants and 164 netizens imprisoned.
China with 30 journalists and 70 netizens imprisoned is the country more dangerous. Besides Syria the situation is bad in Eritrea with 28 journalists imprisoned; Turkey, with 27 and Iran, with 20.
From Syria came the good news that Magnus Falkehed and Niclas Hammarström, two Swedish journalists who were kidnapped near the Lebanese border on 23 November, have been released.
“We are very relieved to learn that these two journalists have been released safe and sound,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We nonetheless continue to be concerned about the 16 other foreign journalists and the more than 30 Syrian citizen journalists who are still held in Syria.”
An offensive by the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups against ISIS, a Jihadi group linked to Al-Qaeda, has resulted in the recent release of other news providers, including Turkish photographer Bunyamin Aygün and Syrian citizen-journalists Ahmed Bremo and Milad Al-Shibahi, said the organisation.
Reporters Without Borders