Nearly 1,700 journalists were killed around the world over the past 20 years, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Friday.
“A staggering total of 1,668 journalists have been killed worldwide in connection with their work in the last two decades (2003-2022),” read an RSF statement.
The figure gives an average of more than 80 journalists killed every year, it said.
“The annual death tolls peaked in 2012 and 2013 with 144 and 142 journalists killed, respectively,” the statement read, adding that the spikes were largely due to the war in Syria.
Some 80% of fatalities recorded between 2003 and 2022 occurred in 15 countries, with the most dangerous ones being Iraq and Syria, where a combined total of 578 journalists were killed, according to RSF.
They are followed by Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, and Somalia, the statement said.
In Europe, Russia remains the deadliest country for journalists, RSF said.
The watchdog pointed out that “more journalists have been killed in ‘zones at peace’ than in ‘zones at war’ during the past two decades.”
Most of these involved journalists who were investigating organized crime and corruption, it added.