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article imageUNESCO tracks inquiries into journalist killings

By AFP     Nov 6, 2018 in World

The UN's culture and education watchdog said Tuesday it had created a database for tracking investigations into the murders of journalists around the world as calls rise for authorities to be held accountable for attacks on the press.

UNESCO said its observatory, which tracks nearly 1,300 killings going back to 1993, went live last Friday to coincide with the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Most recently the murder of the Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, which Turkey claims was on the orders of the government led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has drawn widespread condemnation.

"These deaths provide a tragic demonstration of the risks many journalists face in the line of duty," the Paris-based body said, noting that in 89 percent of cases the killers go unpunished.

It said more than 80 deaths have been reported so far this year, representing one journalist or other media employee killed every four days.

Often reporters are targeted while covering violent conflicts such as the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan, where AFP photographer Shah Marai was among ten journalists killed by suicide bombers last April.

But others have occurred in democratic countries, including the brutal murder of the 30-year-old television journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria last month.

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