* Asian region lost 12 scribes to assailants this year
Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, is appalled by the large number of journalists killed in two months of war in Gaza, a Palestinian city on the eastern coast of Mediterranean Sea. Since the Hamas attack on 7 October 2023 and subsequent counter attacks by Israeli forces, at least 65 media workers (58 Palestinian journalists, 4 Israeli scribes and 3 media persons in Lebanon) have died as a result of the hostilities.
“Since the creation of the PEC nearly 20 years ago, never before have so many journalists died in a conflict in such a short time”, said Blaise Lempen, president of the Geneva-based organisation, adding, “We salute the courage of the Palestinian journalists who remain on the ground in Gaza to continue reporting despite the high risks involved.” Many of them have been killed in their homes with their families, stated Lempen.
At least 110 journalists have been killed across the globe since the beginning of the year, said the PEC, adding that the south and southeast Asian region has lost relatively low 12 journalists to assailants till the first week of December. Pakistan and India lost three scribes each, while Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Philippines have lost two media persons each during the period.
PEC’s Asian regional representative Nava Thakuria informs that Pakistan lost Imtiaz Baig, Ghulam Asghar Khand and Jan Mohammed Mahar to assailants till date this year, where as India witnessed the killing of Shashikant Warishe, Abdur Rauf Alamgir and Vimal Kumar Yadav.
Ashiqul Islam and Golam Rabbani Nadim lost their lives in Bangladesh, where Husein Naderi and Akmal Nazari were killed in Afghanistan, and Cresenciano Bunduquin and Juan Jumalon in the Philippines. The Gaza war victims include 58 journalists from Palestine too (https://pressemblem.ch/casualties.shtml).
The PEC recalls that under humanitarian laws all civilians are protected from direct attack and the effects of conflict, as long as they are not taking a direct part in hostilities. PEC urges the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate in order to shed full light on the circumstances of these murders and to identify those responsible.
It also urged the Israeli commanders responsible on the ground to distinguish between civilians and combatants and respect the press emblem worn by journalists. The forum also asked the media companies to exercise cautions so as not to endanger their employees.