Since January, 115 media workers have been killed in 29 countries so far, while Ukraine and Mexico topped the list for the most dangerous nations for mediapersons, a Geneva-based rights body said in a report.
By region, Latin America topped the list with 39 journalists killed, followed by Europe with 37 victims, Asia 30, Africa seven and North America two, according to the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC).
Europe experienced the worst deterioration in the safety of journalists since the wars in former Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1999, said the EC report.
There has been at least 34 victims since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, with eight journalists killed in the line of duty.
Mexico came in second with 17 victims, the highest annual death toll in the countyr since at least the beginning of the century.
They were the target of criminal gangs in a climate of violence and impunity.
At the third place with eight victims is Haiti, followed by Pakistan (six), the Philippines (five), Colombia (four) and India (four).
Bangladesh, Honduras, Israel/Palestine and Yemen reported three media fatalities each.
Two media fatalities were registered each in Brazil, Chad, Ecuador, Myanmar, Somalia, Syria and the US.
The countries with just one victim each were the Central African Republic, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Paraguay, Russia, Sweden, Turkey and Vietnam.
Meanwhile, there was no casualties among mediapersons in Afghanistan so far this year, compared to the 12 in 2021.
However, many journalists have fled the country.
“The number of journalists killed increased by 45 per cent compared to last year (79 victims). It is the highest number of casualties since 2018 with a brutal deterioration in Europe due to the war in Ukraine,” PEC President Blaise Lempen was quoted as saying in the report.
In the last five years, Mexico has recorded the greatest number of victims (69), ahead of Afghanistan (44), then India (37), Ukraine (36), Pakistan (34), Syria (24), the Philippines (21), Yemen (17), Honduras (13), Somalia (13), Brazil (12) and Haiti (11).
From 2013 to 2022, 1,135 journalists were killed, or 113 per year, 2.2 per week, according to figures from the PEC.