Safety of Journalists > Targeted and cross fire killings

Journalists & media staff killed list in 2017

Afghanistan

31 May 2017

TOLO TV staff member Aziz Navin and BBC Afghan driver in Kabul Mohammed Nazir were among victims of the explosion in the Zanbaq Square in Afghanistan capital, which killed at least 80 people and injured 350. Three more journalists of BBC Kabul and a reporter of TV1 channel were also injured. The office of TV1 is close to the explosion area. The Taliban have denied responsibility of the attack. In a statement, the BBC said that : "It is with great sadness that the BBC can confirm the death of BBC Afghan driver Mohammed Nazir following the vehicle bomb in Kabul earlier today, as he was driving journalist colleagues to the office," the BBC World Service said in a statement. Four BBC journalists were also injured and were treated in hospital. ...

17 May 2017

The four media workers for the Afghan Public Radio and Television (RTA) in the city of Jalalabad, Nangrahar province, were killed in the suicide attack on the RTA. 17 others staff members were injured in the attack. Media reports said that four attackers, including two suicide bombers, forced their way into the RTA station at around 9:30 am. The two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the front gate and outside the main building while other attackers entered the main building. It took the security forces more than three hours to end the assault.

Bangladesh

03 February 2017

The local correspondent of the Bangla-language daily Samakal, was shot i n the face while covering clashes between two factions of the ruling party, the Awami League, on Thursday 2 February during which gunshots were fired. He was admitted to a local hospital in a critical condition. He died on Friday on the way to capital Dhaka, where he was being taken for further treatment. His condition deteriorated mid-way and he was taken to a hospital in Tangail, central Bangladesh, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Burma (Myanmar)

16 April 2017

The 27-year-old weekly magazine editor at the Iron Rose was found dead at the publications offices in Rangoon’s Pazundaung Township. Heinn published a number of articles that have been critical of the elites in Myanmar particularly the military, business and government. Police captain Yin Htwe told Reuters that Heinn was stabbed 15 times in the chest and abdomen. The exact date of his murder is unknown as it was neighbors who contacted the publication’s chief editors, complaining of an odor coming from the publications office. A determination is currently being made as to when the killing took place. Iron Rose was known to be critical of Myanmar's establishment, including its recent stories about Myanmar's former ruling generals and businessmen connected to them.

Democratic Republic of Congo

12 July 2017

The journalist for the public broadcast service, RNTC, in the northern eastern city of Bunia was killed at his home by an unidentified assailant who attacked him, fatally injuring the victim. The father of nine and was a 20- year veteran reporter for the RTNC where he presented news programmes.

Denmark

10 August 2017

The headless torso of the 30-year-old Swedish journalist was found on a beach south of Copenhagen on 21 August, ten days after she had gone missing. According to media reports, DNA from the torso matched that from Ms Wall's hairbrush and toothbrush. Ms Wall, a freelance journalist who had written for the Guardian, New York Times and South China Morning Post, disappeared during a trip on a civilian submarine, the Nautilus, with its in inventor Peter Madsen. She had been researching a feature about him and the Nautilus he had built in 2008 with crowdfunding, reports added. After failing to return from the trip, police arrested Peters Madsen who first claimed he had dropped her safely near Copenhagen but later said she had died in an accident and he had buried her at sea. ...

Dominican Republic

14 February 2017

Luís Manuel Medina, the presenter of the news programme Milenio Caliente – or Hot Millennium – was killed while on air at the radio station FM 103.5 when gunmen opened fire during a news bulletin which was being broadcast on Facebook Live. Producer and director Leo Martínez was also shot dead in an adjacent office at the radio station FM 103.5. Gunfire could be heard during the Facebook Live video, along with a woman yelling “Shots! Shots! Shots!” before the transmission abruptly cuts off. The station secretary Dayaba Garcia was also injured in the attack and taken to hospital where she needed emergency surgery. Police said the shooting occurred in San Pedro de Macorís, a small city 45 miles east of the capital, Santo Domingo. ...

Honduras

13 September 2017

The journalist of Canal 22 Tegucigalpita was shot by unidentified gunmen in the province of Cortés, north of Honduras while he was with a friend who was also injured. The victims were taken to Puerto Cortés hospital where the journalist later died of his wounds.

17 January 2017

Igor Padilla The 36-year-old TV news presenter for Canal HCH and well-known crime report was fatally injured when four unidentified gunmen opened fire on him in Suyapa, an area of San Pedro Sula as we he filming a TV documentary on violence against journalists in the country. According to reports, Padilla received a phone call and stepped on the street to take it when the four attackers, allegedly in police uniform, shot him with high velocity weapons. He was taken to hospital with multiples injuries but died on the way. 18 have been arrested in connection with the journalist’s murder and two have reportedly confessed to their involvement, reports added. ...

India

20 September 2017

The 28-yer-old journalist who worked for Dinraat, a cable television channel in Tripura state, northeast India was attacked and fatally wounded while he was a protest in Mandwai near Agartala, the capital of Tripura. He suffered head injuries from sharp objects during clashes between supporters of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal party agitating for a separate state, and the Ganamukti Parishad, the tribal wing of the Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPI-M), the ruling party in the state. Bhowmik was covering the protest and road blockade by the IPFT when he was attacked, possibly with sticks and rods. The police found him with serious stab injuries and he was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him ‘brought dead’.

05 September 2017

The 55-year-old respected prominent journalist and an outspoken critic of Hindu nationalists was shot dead outside her home in Rajarajeshwarinagar in northern Bengaluru, Karnataka, as she returned from work. Three unidentified gunmen on a motorbike fired at least four shots at her as she entered through the gate of her home. Lankesh died at the scene after receiving gunshots to the head and chest. The gunmen fled the scene. Local officials have said they suspected she had been under surveillance from the gunmen. Her death has been widely,with Karnataka state's chief minister Siddaramaiah calling it an "assassination on democracy". ...

31 May 2017

The 42-year-old was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants at his office in Pipliya Mandi, 15km from district headquarters Mandsaur. He was shot twice from close range and died on the way to hospital. Jain was reportedly filing stories for Indore-based Hindi daily Nai Dunia , with which he was associated for the last 12 years. Jain’s family said that local illegal liquor sellers had threatened to kill him after he reported their activities to the police a few days back. According to a report the family claimed that Jain had informed the police about the threat.

15 May 2017

The journalist who worked for Agniban , a local evening newspaper, was on his way to Manglia Square in his car when he was stopped in Indore, Madhya Pradesh state, by two assailants on motorbikes. They asked him to wind down his window, then slit his throat and fled the scene. A passer-by saw Sharma bleeding heavily and rushed him to hospital. He was moved to another hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Iraq

25 February 2017

The 30-year-old female reporter working for Iraqi Kurdish channel Rudaw was killed in the explosion of a roadside bomb while covering fighting between government forces and jihadists in Mosul, the AFP quoted her channel as saying. Her cameraman was also injured and received treatment at a local hospital. Source: AFP

27 August 2017

The Iraqi cameraman for Karbala TV was killed in an identified explosive device in the town of Tal Afar, the last fiefdom of the so-called Islamic State in the Nineveh province. The cameraman was embedded with Iraqi troops who were fighting the militants in Tal Afar.

19 June 2017

Media reports said that a roadside explosion in the Iraqi city of Mosul killed Kurdish journalist Bakhtiyar Addad who was working as a fixer for French journalists, Stephan Villeneuve, Véronique Robert and Samuel Forey. Stephan Villeneuve , a video journalist who had covered a number of conflicts across the world, was fatally wounded and died from his wounds at a hospital on a UN military base. He was in Mosul to film a piece on the battle of Mosul for French news programme Envoye Special, aired on public television channel France 2. His colleagues were injured in the blast. The journalists were accompanying Iraqi special forces during the battle to reconquer Mosul from the Islamic State (EI) group, AFP reported. Source: AFP

07 July 2017

Harb Hazaa al-Dulaim i, a correspondent for the Hona Salaheddin channel, and his cameraman Sudad al-Duri were killed by the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Imam Gharbi, a village south of Mosul. The journalists along with members of security forces were surrounded by the militant group when they surrounded the village and murdered during the police raid to dislodge them from the village.

24 June 2017

The female journalist, who was wounded in the same landmine blast that killed two colleagues Stephan Villeneuve and their fixer and Iraqi Kurdish reporter Bakhtiyar Addad in the Iraqi city of Mosul last week, died of her injuries. According to the AFP quoting France Televisions where both Ms Robert and Mr Villeneuve worked, she had been operated on in Iraq and then flown back for treatment in France overnight Thursday to Friday but died of her wounds.

Malta

16 October 2017

The female independent journalist, specialising in investigative reporting, was killed in a car blast that left her vehicle in several pieces in Bidnija. According to media reports quoting local sources , the extremely explosion left debris from the car, a Peugeot 108, strewn across the road and in a nearby field. Police at the scene said the driver's body was blasted out of the car and into a nearby field. TVM reported that Ms Caruana Galizia had filed a police report 15 days ago saying she was being threatened, reports added.

Mexico

14 June 2017

The body of the director of the local television station 6TV, who had been missing after being abducted on 18 May in the city of Nueva Italia was found in the western state of Michoacán. Media reports quoted state officials as saying that Adame’s burnt remains had been located near Nuevo Italia and identified with DNA testing. Adame reportedly covered local politics but avoided reporting on the criminal activities of the drug barons. He and his wife were detained by the local police in 2016 for covering a protest outside city hall, according to media reports.

22 August 2017

The 55-year-old crime reporter was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Mexican state of Veracruz and became the tenth journalist to be killed in the country since the start of the year in work-related incidents. Cándido Ríos, who worked for the Diario de Acayucan, was shot in the south of Veracruz while he was with two other people, including a former police officer. The journalist had received death threats since 2012, mainly from the local administration officials,for his reporting. He was admitted into the protection programme for human rights defenders and journalists, according to the Comisión Estatal para la Atención y Protección de los Periodistas (CEAPP).

23 March 2017

The 54-year-old female correspondent for La Jornada newspaper was shot dead outside her home. Ms Breach, who covered mainly corruption, organised crime and drug traffic, was in her car in the morning outside her home when unidentified gunmen in another car shot her. She was taken to hospital but died shortly afterwards. The journalist had also worked for the magazine Norte de Ciudad Juárez which ceased publication because of the climate of violence which made it impossible to the free practice of journalism.

09 July 2017

The Honduran journalist, who worked for his country's national television broadcaster (HCH), was killed in the town of Acayucan, in the Mexican state of Veracruz. In a statement, the UNESCO Director General condemned the murder of Rivera Paz who had fled to Mexico out of fear for his life following the killing in January of 2017 of Igor Padilla, the director and producer of a programme Rivera Paz had worked for on Honduran national television. Source: UNESCO

05 October 2017

The body of a photographer was found Friday dumped in an open area near the airport tied and showing sign of torture in the northern state of San Luis Potosí, a day after he was abducted from his home by men dressed as police officers, media reports said quoting Mexican officials. Mr. Esqueda’s wife repotedly said armed men broke into the couple’s house while they were sleeping and said they were government agents and took the journalist away. But, the state prosecutor’s office denied that any of its agents were involved in Mr. Esqueda’s abduction. The journalist, who covered crime and social issues, had reported receiving threats from the police in the past, according to a statement released Friday by the federal government’s protection office for journalists. ...

29 April 2017

The 65-year-old journalist was shot dead in his car by unidentified gunmen in the municipality ofTlaquiltenango . Landeros, who presented a radio programme of poetry and music on Jojutla station, was taken to the nearby hospital where he subsequently died.

05 September 2017

The 29-year-old photojournalist and contributor for La Bandera Noticias news website was killed by two unidentified gunmen who fatally shot him outside his home in Guanajato. He was taken to Yuriria hospital where he died of his wounds. According to La Bandera Noticias , Hernández Ríos had received death threats from the local administration. He had also published shortly before his killing a video in which two police officers who accused their superiors were also later murdered.

15 May 2017

The founder of Riodoce , a weekly publication, was shot dead outside his office by unidentified gunmen in Culiacan city in the north-western Mexican state of Sinaloa. Javier Valdez Cárdenas, who covered extensively drug trafficking, had reportedly received death threats against him and his publication. He reportedly said that, in 2009, there was a grenade attack against his publication but no one was hurt. Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto led the condemnation of Cárdenas’ killing who described it as an ‘outrageous crime’ and pledge to protect journalists in his country.

19 March 2017

The 57-year-old director of the El Politico magazine and columnist for El Sol de Córdoba and el Diario de Xalapa was shot dead in the Mexican state of Veracruz while he was with his family. Monlui served as President of the Association of Journalists and Photographers de Córdoba and was the leader of a national union for sugar cane farmers, whose members have been victims of attacks in recent years.

15 May 2017

The 26-year-old reporter for El Costeño, a weekly publication founded by his father, was shot dead in the locality of Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco. The victim was travelling in a car with his mother Córdova Oceguera who is also El Costeño’s deputy sales manager when the attackers opened fire , killing journalist and injuring his mother in the shoulder. Media reports said that the publication focused on crime and social affairs in the local community’s offices and its offices were under police protection.

15 May 2017

The 73-year old veteran journalist was shot dead outside a shop in Paz, a town located in the state of Baja California Sur. Local media reports said the journalist, who was with his wife, had parked his car when unidentified gunmen in another vehicle fired up to 15 bullets on the couple, killing the journalist and wounding his wife. Maximino Rodríguez Palacios was still active in reporting on the activities of organised crime groups and often published details of the gangsters, including their names. He reportedly was aware of the risks to his life and often said he had no fear and was ready for the consequences of his work.

02 March 2017

The editor of La Voz de la Tierra Caliente and contributor to La Jornada Guerrero newspaper was shot dead by two youths riding a motorbike in the city of Altamirano, Guerrero State. The crime reporter, who also contributed to El Universo and had reportedly received death threats from organised crime groups, recently revealed the involvement of a PRI representative in drug trafficking. In September, 2015, Birto was attacked by two armed men outside his home and one suspect was detained in 2016 in connection with the attack.

Nigeria

16 April 2017

The journalist who worked for state-owned Radio Glory FM 97.1 was killed by two unidentified gunmen who broke into his home in Yenagoa, a local government area in the Bayelsa State, and shot him several times in the stomach.

Pakistan

11 June 2017

The Bureau Chief of K-2 Times, an Urdu daily newspaper in Haripur, was shot dead by unknown motorbike-borne gunmen near his home at Lora Chowk, Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The gunmen fled the scene after firing five shots at Elahi, one of which hit his head and others his chest and stomach.

12 October 2017

The journalist with Satch TV and a stringer for local Mashriq Television channel was gunned down outside his home by unidentified assailants. Khan had returned home when his killers opened fire, hitting him several times before fleeing the scene, according to police sources. He was taken to hospital and declared dead on arrival.

12 February 2017

The 22-year-old assistant cameraman of privately-owned Samaa TV news channel, was shot in his head and chest when he was traveling in the Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) van in north Nazimabad to report on an attack on the police. He was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he died from his injuries. The unidentified assailants on a motorbike had thrown an explosive device on a police armored personnel carrier, and had started shooting when the Samaa TV van arrived.

12 January 2017

Unidentified gunmen shot dead the journalist of Qudrat, the local Urdu language newspaper in Pakistan's troubled southwestern Balochistan province, close to Afghan and Iranian border, according to AFP quoting police sources 37-year-old Jan was shot while on his way home on a motorcycle in Qalat district, some 160 kilometres south of Quetta, the provincial capital. "Two attackers on motorcycle opened fire on him, using a pistol and killing him on the spot," senior police officer Muhammad Ali told AFP. Jan was also working as a press secretary for the Balochistan media council. Source: AFP

Philippines

06 August 2017

The radio anchor with Tigmo-Tigmo program on DXPB 106.9 was shot dead by two assailants on a motorcycle on his way home. According to a police report, the assailant continued to shoot Alicaway as he tried to crawl away.

13 March 2017

The columnist for the tabloid Remate was killed by assailants on a motorbike who shot him four times in the back. Brinoes, popularly known as ‘Dos por Dos’ after the radio show he used to host, was a hard-hitting journalist, having also published the local Masbate Tribune. In 2000, Brinoes was sentenced to 12 years in jail after been found guilty of six libel charges. He served five year of the sentence, after which he was released on parole in 2005. Following his release, he was harassed and intimidated by the local authorities, including in 2009 when the Masbate provincial vice governor brought a lawsuit against him. The vice governor filed libel allegations against the then editor the Masbate Tribune.

07 August 2017

The columnist for Sapol Newspaper and a reporter for Radio Mindanao Network was shot leaving his house in Sultan Kudarat province. He died from multiple gunshots. Mindanao province has been under martial law since 23 May 2017 following violent clashes between locals and alleged IS-supporters in Marawi City.

Russian Federation

24 May 2017

The editor-in-chief of Ton-M , a local newspaper, was shot dead in Minusink in the Krasnodarski province, according to Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty. Other reports said that Popkov was found in the sauna in his backyard. He had been shot five times. Popkov’s publication is well known for its hard hitting investigations and he had told Radio Free Europe in a recent interview that his newspaper had become an “obstacle for local officials who are now threatening and intimidating journalists.”

19 April 2017

The 73-year-old co-founder of the weekly newspaper Novy Petersburg, who was attacked in St. Petersburg on 9 March by unidentified assailants and had remained unconscious at the hospital since then, died of his wounds. According to Radio Free Europe,quoting Andrushchenko's colleagues and lawyer , the veteran journalist underwent surgery after the attack and initially had been connected to a ventilator but was later able to breathe on his own. However, they said he never regained consciousness and died on April 19. His attackers have not been found. ...

South Sudan

26 August 2017

The American freelance journalist was killed while covering fighting between the South Sudanese army and the rebel in Kaya, near the South Soudan’s border with Uganda, according to media reports. Christopher Allen was said to have been embedded with the rebel forces when he was killed. He had worked for Al Jazeera and Vice News. He also covered the war in Eastern Ukraine. Source: AFP

Syria

30 July 2017

The correspondent for the Russia international broadcaster RT in central Syria was killed while covering fighting between the Syrian army and the so-called Islamic State group. In a statement, the Kremlin-backed TV station said that Khaled al-Khalid who worked for RT Arabic-language service, was killed during shelling from the IS in the eastern parts of Homs province which hit a Syrian army’s position in Sukhnan, al-Baghaliya.

Turkey

29 April 2017

The founder and chairman of the Persian-language GEM TV company, and his business partner were shot dead in the Maslak neighbourhood in Istanbul by masked individuals who opened fire on their vehicle. The vehicle and the gun used in the assassination were later found burnt. GEM TV is known for its entertainment satellite channels that dub foreign films and Western television programs into Farsi for Iranians. The TV has been criticised by Iran for “showing programmes that go against Islamic values” and has been accused of spreading Western culture. The TV is officially banned in Iran but is popular inside the country for movies and Turkish TV shows dubbed into Farsi. ...

Yemen

26 May 2017

The three photojournalists were killed in a rocket attack carried out by the al Houthi rebels in Taiz city, according to the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate, an IFJ affiliate. Two other photojournalists, Waled Al- Qadasi and Salah Al- Wahbani were injured in the incident.