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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Almost 1,000 journalists killed in 10 years

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In the past 10 years, 958 journalists have been killed, according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk.


In the same period, more than 1,000 have been locked up in prisons, the high commissioner said at a conference on the protection of journalists in Vienna. "The numbers are unacceptable," Türk said.


The meeting was organised by the Austrian Foreign Ministry with the United Nations to mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists.


Türk considered it a success that in the course of the action plan some 50 countries have created or strengthened mechanisms to protect media professionals.


In recent years, the average number of killings has decreased. Nevertheless, much greater efforts are needed, he said.


"Each and every threat to a journalist is a threat to your rights, my rights and everyone's rights to freedom of information, opinion and expression," Türk stressed.


Türk called for measures to halt intimidation lawsuits and restrictions on spyware used to target the media. He also said authorities should combat violence more actively.


Since 2006, only 13% of media-related homicides have been successfully prosecuted, he said. -- dpa


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