European Federation of Journalists

120 journalists and media workers killed in 2023, says IFJ

120 journalists and media workers, including 11 women, have been killed in 2023, announced the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on 31 December. Four of them lost their lives in Europe: three in Ukraine and one in Albania.

The IFJ, which published an initial list of journalists killed ahead of UN Human Rights Day on 8 December documenting 94 killings, says the latest increase is the result of additional deaths in the Gaza war as well as other killings being made known to the federation.

“Today our thoughts go out to journalists’ families and our colleagues in world newsrooms who are mourning the deaths of colleagues killed for simply doing their jobs. While we always remind journalists that no story is worth their life, there are too many situations where they are deliberately targeted to cover up stories and restrict the public’s right to know. It is a democratic right of citizens to be duly informed; it is governments’ responsibility to ensure journalists are protected to report independently. The deadly figures from this year illustrate how badly we need an international binding instrument forcing states to adopt key mechanisms to protect journalists’ safety and independence,” said IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger.

This year, 68% of journalists and media workers killed worldwide have been killed in the Gaza conflict, the Federation records.

In the Middle East, 75 Palestinian, four Israeli, three Lebanese journalists were killed as a result of the war in Gaza, and three media workers were killed in Syria.

In the Asia-Pacific region, 12 journalists have been killed, whether in India (3), Afghanistan (2), the Philippines (2), Bangladesh (2), Pakistan (2) or China (1).

In North and South America, 10 journalists were killed in 2023. Three Mexicans, one Paraguayan, three Guatemalan, one Colombian, one Honduran and one American .

In Africa, the IFJ deplores 8 murders in Cameroon (2), Sudan (1), Lesotho (1), Mali (1), Somalia (1), Mozambique (1),Nigeria (1) which have failed to be fully investigated to date, and one accidental killing in Rwanda.

In Europe, 3 journalists and media workers (Ukrainian fixer Bohdan Bitik, Russian journalist Rotislav Zhuravlev and French journalist Arman Soldin) have been killed in Ukraine, and 1 media worker in Albania (bodyguard Pal Kola).

The IFJ calls on world governments to swiftly adopt an international binding Convention to protect journalists’ safety and independence. Read the full text of the IFJ proposal here.

Download the list of journalists killed in 2023 here.