SRINAGAR: Thirty-one journalists, bloggers, and media workers were killed from May 2015 to April 2016, with India emerging as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, a report said.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) marked World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday by releasing The Road to Resilience: Press Freedom in South Asia 2015-16, media reported.
The 14th annual report documents the press freedom situation in South Asia over the past year.
According to the report, Afghanistan and Pakistan continued to remain dangerous places for journalists but the most concerning series of events were recorded in Bangladesh.
“Press freedom is not a guarantee across South Asia, and without the support and leadership of South Asia’s leaders, governments and legal apparatuses, press freedom will cease to exist,” the IFJ was quoted as saying in a report.
This year’s press freedom report has built on the findings from the 2015 report, commissioning capsule reports on Bangladeshi bloggers, Chhattisgarh in India, Kabul and Kunduz in Afghanistan along with country-wise press freedom situation analysis for all eight South Asian nations, chapters on impunity, gender and media, and an annexure of list of incidents of major press freedom violations.
The IFJ said that the resilience of South Asia’s media community is a testament to the state of press freedom across the region.
In Bangladesh, seven bloggers have been killed in the past three years, the most recent, Nazimuddin Samad killed just last month. These horrendous murders are part of a broader project in Bangladesh to silence critics.
Building on IFJ work and research into gender equity in the media, this year’s report also documents the growing issues for women in the media in South Asia, with a particular spotlight into online harassment and trolling of women journalists.
The report documents the stories of strong, independent female media workers, harassed, intimidated, threatened and attacked for simply doing their job. But the chapter also documents women journalists who, against all odds, are forging new ground and creating a better working environment for themselves and their female colleagues.