At least 370 journalists have been murdered in direct connection to their work from the beginning of 2004 through 2013, according to CPJ research. In 333 of the cases, no one has been convicted. In 28 cases, some suspects have been sentenced, or killed in the course of apprehension, but others believed to be connected to or to have ordered the crime remain free. Nine cases have reached complete justice, meaning all of the perpetrators, including the crime’s mastermind, have been convicted. CPJ maintains detailed records on journalists killings from 1992 to the present. For additional information, please visit http://cpj.org/killed.
Ibrahim, a correspondent for the independent Shaam News Network and a freelance reporter, was killed in Tel Abyad, a Syrian town north of the city of Raqqa, on May 4, according to Shaam and the Beirut-based SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom. Ibrahim was kidnapped by the Islamic State militant group (then called Islamic State in Iraq and Sham) in March, two months before his death, according to news reports and local press groups. His family received his body on May 7, 2014.
A loose coalition of rebel forces captured almost the entire city of Raqqa in March 2013, according to news reports. Since then, Islamic State pushed out other rebel groups and began exerting increased control over the city. By the time of Ibrahim's killing, Raqqa had become the group's de facto headquarters for the vast terrain it controlled.
Ibrahim had reported widely on the presence of Islamist militants in Raqqa in the months before he was kidnapped. His reports included coverage of Islamist militant groups who he said had imposed taxes on Christians and who he said had prevented aid from being delivered to the city.
As part of his work for Shaam News Network, Ibrahim also appeared on the opposition-based TV channels Syria al-Hur and Syria al-Ghad. He also worked for an online campaign called "Raqqa is being slaughtered silently," which posts news and photos of events in Raqqa and has criticized the harsh rule imposed by the Islamic State.
Abu Ibrahim Ar-Raqqawi, a Raqqa citizen who runs the campaign, told the Wall Street Journal that Ibrahim was killed because Islamic State militants caught him with material belonging to the campaign.
Ar-Raqqawi told CPJ that he and Ibrahim would meet in secret repeatedly to share news and information for the campaign because Islamic State had placed media restrictions on journalists covering Raqqa.
Islamic State has imposed restrictions on independent voices and journalists, according to CPJ research. Since the group came to power, it has kidnapped many journalists and raided numerous media centers. Islamic State has also ordered journalists and media workers to pledge allegiance to the group, according to the Syrian Journalists Association. As a result, journalists have fled territories controlled by the group, submitted to self-censorship, or continued their work anonymously at great risk.
Unsolved Murders: 100
Population: 32.6 million
Unsolved Murders: 26
Population: 10.2 million
Unsolved Murders: 51
Population: 96.7 million
Unsolved Murders: 9
Population: 20.3 million
Unsolved Murders: 7
Population: 22.4 million
Unsolved Murders: 5
Population: 29.8 million
Unsolved Murders: 16
Population: 120.8 million
Unsolved Murders: 6
Population: 47.7 million
Unsolved Murders: 22
Population: 179.2 million
Unsolved Murders: 14
Population: 143.5 million
Unsolved Murders: 9
Population: 198.7 million
Unsolved Murders: 5
Population: 168.8 million
Unsolved Murders: 7
Population: 1,237 million
CPJ releases report on journalists in exile
Fifty-five journalists fled their homes fearing threats of violence and imprisonment in the past year, according to CPJ's annual survey, which is based on cases the organization has supported, from which it derives global trends. The report, "Journalists in Exile," was released on June 19, ahead of World Refugee Day.
The report found that Iran and Somalia were the top two countries driving out journalists, with nine and eight journalists fleeing, respectively, in the past 12 months. Ethiopia, Syria, Eritrea, Mexico, and Sri Lanka are also high on the list of countries from which journalists were forced to flee.
Journalists who CPJ assisted cited fear of violence as the top reason for deciding to leave their countries. Others pointed to threats of imprisonment when asked why they fled into exile. In nearly all of the cases, the journalists moved as a last resort, leaving behind their careers, livelihoods, and families to escape intimidation.
Durante los últimos 12 meses, 55 periodistas huyeron de sus hogares con la ayuda del Comité para la Protección de los Periodistas (CPJ, por sus siglas en inglés). La razón más común para marcharse al exilio fue la amenaza de violencia, como por ejemplo en Somalia y en Siria, dos de las naciones con mayores índices de violencia contra la prensa en todo el mundo. Otros periodistas huyeron ante la amenaza de cárcel, particularmente en Irán, donde el gobierno intensificó la represión en el período previo a las elecciones. Un informe especial del CPJ por Nicole Schilit
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