France among top 3 deadliest countries for journalists in 2015

© Pascal Rossignol
At least 67 journalists were killed because of their work or while reporting in 2015, Reporters Without Borders has said. France was ranked third among the deadliest countries for journalists because of one single act of violence – the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine.

The eight editors of the satirical magazine killed by jihadists in January put the European nation just behind Iraq and Syria in a list of the most dangerous places for media professionals. In those Middle Eastern countries, nine journalists were killed on the job.

Yemen, South Sudan, India, Mexico and The Philippines are also high on the list. While journalists in the Middle East risk their lives due to military conflicts and political instability, in India and Mexico organized crime is the biggest threat for reporters, the organization said.

In addition to the massacre in Paris, several other atrocities marked 2015, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said. In Syria, the terrorist group Islamic State staged an execution of Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto. In Bangladesh, four secularist bloggers were hacked to death in an attack claimed by Islamist militias.

In Mexico, fugitive journalist Rubén Espinosa was tortured and killed while hiding after receiving death threats. And in Somalia, Hindiya Mohamed, one of two female journalists killed in 2015 for their work, died after a bomb planted on her car exploded. The Islamist rebel militia Al Shabaab was suspected of carrying out the attack.

In addition to the 67 people RSF said were definitely killed for their work as journalists, 43 media professionals were killed worldwide for unclear reasons.

RSF has condemned the failure of national governments to provide better protection for journalists and for poor responses to their killings.