In 2012, 88 mass media workers were killed, 38 abducted and 879 arrested. The majority of them suffered for their professional activity. About 2,000 reporters have received threats or were subjected to physical abuse, says the report by the “Reporters Without Borders”.
The most unfavourable situation for reporters has been registered in Turkey. The organization has described Turkey as the world’s largest prison for journalists, although the country considers itself a model democracy in the region. Turkey is followed by China, Eretria, Iran and Syria in terms of imprisoned journalists.
One of the latest incidents with journalists in Syria was the abduction of Ankhar Kochneva by the militants of the Syrian Free Army. She has a Ukrainian passport. She has lived in Russia and Syria for the past ten years and worked for the Russian media, including the Voice of Russia. She was detained in October, but on the 13th of December, she was threatened to be killed if a ransom of $50 million was not paid. One of the leaders of the “Veche” regional public organization Vladimir Orlov told the Voice of Russia that the journalist is alive.
“The killing of Ankhar is not in the militants’ agenda. First and foremost, they are interested in money. They posted a statement on the Internet saying that they had reviewed the threat of execution of Ankhar. They are puzzled by the fact that the Ukrainian embassy has not approached them yet. We know that the Russian embassy is coordinating its efforts with the Ukrainian embassy. Syrian special services are aware of the place where the journalist is detained. But the region is under the control of militants, and they cannot reach there,” Vladimir Orlov said.
According to the “Reporters Without Borders”, physical abuses against journalists have become more frequent in Ukraine. The reason here is that culprits enjoy impunity. However, the organization has not seen any serious threat to journalists in Ukraine.
It has noted some improvements in the safety of journalists in Libya and Egypt. The number of journalists arrested in Belarus has fallen to 31 in the outgoing year. This is a familiar figure although it is a cause for concern after the unprecedented suppression of journalists in 2011, says the report.
"The Reporters Without Borders” has bypassed the situation in Russia.