Journalist murdered in Mexico, ninth of 2018

Mexico is the second-deadliest country in the world for journalists after war-torn Syria. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Journalist murdered in Mexico, ninth of 2018

  • Mexico is the second-deadliest country in the world for journalists after war-torn Syria, according to the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders
  • He is at least the ninth reporter murdered in the country this year

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Mexico: Gunmen shot and killed a Mexican journalist as he left his home in the southern state of Chiapas, his newspaper said Friday, at least the ninth reporter murdered in the country this year.
Mario Gomez, a reporter with El Heraldo de Chiapas, is the latest victim in a wave of violence against the press in Mexico, the second-deadliest country in the world for journalists after war-torn Syria, according to the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders.
“He had recently filed a complaint because he was receiving threats,” a colleague at the paper told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The newspaper said Gomez, a general news correspondent in the town of Yajalon, was leaving for work when two unidentified men arrived and “murdered him in cold blood” with a series of shots to the abdomen.
Gomez, 35, was taken to the hospital but died of his wounds, it said.
“We call for an exhaustive investigation to find those responsible for this crime,” his colleagues wrote in an editorial published on the newspaper’s website.
The state prosecutor’s office said in a statement it would “follow all lines of investigation to shed light on this reprehensible crime and bring those responsible to justice.”


Turkey remains world’s worst offender against press freedom

Updated 13 December 2018
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Turkey remains world’s worst offender against press freedom

  • A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists said that a near-record number of journalists around the world are behind bars for their work
  • The CPJ said there are dozens of reporters missing or kidnapped in the Middle East and North Africa

Turkey remains the world’s worst offender against press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Thursday, with at least 68 journalists imprisoned for anti-state charges.

Turkey has previously said its crackdown is justified because of an attempted coup to overthrow the government in 2016.

The report said that a near-record number of journalists around the world are behind bars for their work, including two Reuters reporters whose imprisonment in Myanmar has drawn international criticism.

There were 251 journalists jailed for doing their jobs as of Dec. 1, the CPJ said in an annual study. For the third consecutive year, more than half are in Turkey, China and Egypt, where authorities have accused reporters of anti-governmental activities.

“It looks like a trend now,” the report’s author, Elana Beiser, said in an interview. “It looks like the new normal.”

The number of journalists imprisoned on charges of “false news” rose to 28, up from 21 last year and nine in 2016, according to the CPJ, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes press freedom.

The report criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for frequently characterizing negative media coverage as “fake news,” a phrase that is also used by leaders against their critics in countries like the Philippines and Turkey.

In Egypt, at least 25 journalists are in prison. Authorities say this is to limit dissent are directed at militants trying to undermine the state.

Meanwhile, when asked about journalists being jailed, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: “Legal measures are not taken because of these suspects’ or criminals’ professions. This is unrelated.”

The overall number of jailed journalists is down eight percent from last year’s record high of 272, the CPJ said.

The total does not take into account journalists who have disappeared or are being held by non-state actors. The CPJ said there are dozens of reporters missing or kidnapped in the Middle East and North Africa, including several held by Houthis in Yemen.

(With Reuters)