Sixty-six journalists were killed and more than 1,000 arrested this year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said today, naming cities in Syria, Egypt and Libya among the world's most dangerous places for the media.
The press freedom group for the first time compiled the world's 10 most dangerous places for the media -- ranging from the Egyptian capital Cairo, to Misrata in Libya and the Khuzdar district in Pakistan's southern Baluchistan province.
RSF said a tumultuous year, which included the Arab Spring uprisings and the felling of several veteran Arab dictators, saw a 16 percent rise compared to last year in the number of journalists arrested worldwide. "Street protests in other countries such as Greece, Belarus, Uganda, Chile and the United States were responsible for the dramatic surge in the number of arrests, from 535 in 2010 to 1,044 in 2011," RSF said in a statement.
It said 20 journalists were killed in the Middle East and an equal number in Latin America "which is very exposed to the threat of criminal violence. "For the second year running, Pakistan was the single deadliest country with a total of 10 journalists killed, most of them murdered. China, Iran and Eritrea continue to be the world's biggest prisons for the media," the group added.
RSF said the world's deadliest places for journalists this year also included Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan, where a bloodbath after contested polls claimed around 3,000 lives; Mexico's drug-infested Veracruz state, and the islands of Luzon and Mindanao in the Philippines.