Who else kills journalists for their work?



Of course there are crazy gunmen in the war torn Middle East, in troubled lands of South Sudan and Somalia, in Putin’s Russia and may others too numerous to mention.

But just the other day, a gunman opened fire at a local Newspaper office in Maryland, in the United States of America. He killed five journalists.


Staff at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis said the attacker, armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades, shot through a glass door into the newsroom.

The gunman was not some Islamic fanatic as many would like to believe but rather he was a white male in his late 30s.

This happened in the USA! Unthinkable right!


I for one never knew that journalists in the world’s greatest democracy could one day be targeted in this manner right on their own soil.

And this is the reason why I am afraid. If this can happen in the USA, what can stop someone from targeting journalists in Malawi.

I have been arrested five times for my work, I have worked in hostile environments but the thought of someone breaking in the newsroom with a gun sends a chill up my spine.

In Mozambique, Carlos Cardoso was killed for investigating corruption some years ago.

This year alone, about 45 journalists around the world have been targeted and killed.

Below are some of the targeted killings of journalists as reported by the Committee for the Protection of Journalists. The stories are horrifying but we cannot stop telling the trust as it were.

Abdul Manan Arghand

25 April 2018

The Kabul News TV journalist was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen shot dead at Yarana Market on the outskirts of Kandahar city, Afghanistan. Arghand was in his car when two gunmen on a motorbike intercepted him and opened fire at him, killing him on the spot. He had reportedly received threats and had notified security authorities about the threats. Arghand was working as a journalist for 13 years and was currently associated with private TV station, Kabul News and Chinese News Agency

Kabul Shah Marai, Yar Mohammad Tokhi, Abadullah Hananzai, Moharram Durrani, Sabawoon Kakar, Ghazi Rasooli, Nowroz Ali Rajabi, Salim Talash, Ali Salimi

30 April 2018

Nine journalists, including a female journalist, were killed in Kabul, Afghanistan in back-to-back suicide attacks, the second of which targeted the journalists who had gathered on the site of the first blast near the Afghan Intelligence services headquarters. The two suicide attacks hit central Kabul, on 30 th April. The first bomb was detonated by an assailant on a motorcycle and the second was detonated 20 minutes later among those who had come to rescue those targeted in the first attack, including a group of journalists

Ahmad Shah

30 April 2018

The 29-year-old BBC reporter was killed in a separate attack in Eastern Khost province, near the border with Pakistan. Ahmad Shah was on his way when armed men on a motorbike opened fire and shot him dead. The journalist was the tenth journalist killed in Afghanistan on the deadliest day, following the twin blast in central Kabul which claimed nine of them.

Jairo Sousa

21 June 2018

The radio presenter at Rádio Pérola FM was gunned down by an unidentified armed man on a motorbike who shot him in the back as he arrived at the radio studio located in the state of Pára in northern Brazil for his morning show, Show da Peróla. According to family sources,Jairo Sousa who was known for his outspoken criticism against corruption and organised crime, had received threatening calls shortly before.

Jefferson Pureza Lopes

17 January 2018

The journalist working for radio Beira Rio FM, a local station in the state of Goiás, was shot dead at his home by two gunmen on motorbikes who forced their way into his house and killed him. According to reports quoting police and colleagues, Lopez had received multiple threats for denouncing the local administration on his radio programme. The radio station was also attacked last November and set on fire but the attackers have not been identified.

Javier Ortega, Paul Rivas, Efrain Segarra

26 March 2018

Journalist Javier Ortega (32), photojournalist Paul Rivas (45) and their 60-year-old driver Efrain Segarra, all working for the El Comercio newspaper were found dead in the coastal region of Mataje on Ecuador’s northern border with Colombia. The trio had been snatched on 26 March, with renegades from the former rebel movement in Colombia, FARC, being accused of these killings. The authorities in Colombia and Ecuador launched operations on the border to track down those behind the kidnap and murders of the journalists and their driver.

Javier Ortega, Paul Rivas, Efrain Segarra

26 June 2018

The bodies of three Ecuadorian media professionals who had been abducted on March on the border with Colombia were found in a jungle, according to Colombian authorities. The authorities said that 32-year-old reporter Javier, 45-year old photographer Paul Rivas and their 60-year old driver Efrain Segarra had been killed after being held hostage. The trio who worked for the Ecuador’s influential El Comercio newspaper had gone to report on violence on the remote border with Colombia when they were kidnapped by suspected renegades of the former Colombian guerrilla movement, FARC.

Laurent Ángel Castillo Cifuentes, Luis Alfredo de León Miranda

01 February 2018

The lifeless bodies of the two media professionals were found in the municipality of Mazatenango with torture signs and their hands and feet tied after they went missing on 28 January. According to media reports, Castillo Cifuentes who was the correspondent for Medio Nuestro Diario newspaper based in the department of Quetzaltenango left home to cover the Mazatenango carnival. Luis Alfredo de Léon Miranda, who worked at Radio Coaltepec in the same location, went with Castillo to the same event. Local sources close to Castillo’s family reportedly told media that the journalist had been receiving blackmailing calls.

Sandeep Sharma

26 March 2018

The 35-year-old investigative journalist in Madhya Pradesh state in central India was mowed down by a truck on a road in Bhind district and died at the local hospital. Sharma had two “sting” investigations about sand mafia for a regional TV station, News World, and alleged the involvement of police officials in the illegal sand-mining mafia operations in the state. Sharma had reportedly sought police protection following the publication of the reports, but Shailendra Singh Khushwaha, the deputy inspector at the Bhind police station confirmed that the protection hadn’t been provided. The driver of the truck was arrested and the truck was seized by police, as the investigation continued. These are some of the targeted killings so far in 2018 alone as reported by the Committee for the Protection of Journalists. How safe are we?

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