GENEVA, April 30. /TASS/. A total of 51 journalists have been killed in 20 countries since the beginning of 2015. The list is topped by Libya where 8 journalists have been killed .Yemen and Ukraine take second place, with four journalists killed in each of the two countries. In the case of Ukraine, three of these were targeted killings, the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) Swiss non-governmental organization advocating the rights of journalists in trouble spots said on Thursday in Geneva.
Ahead of the World Press Freedom Day marked on May 3, the organization has voiced deep concern over the worsening security conditions in a number of countries, which affected the work of journalists. The NGO notes that 41 journalists were killed during the same period last year. Overall, 148 journalists were killed between May 2014 and April 2015, Press Emblem Campaign reports.
PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen said that the situation had worsened during the first 4 months of 2015 because of intensifying conflicts in a number of countries, including Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Ukraine, and also because of terrorist violence targeting media. During this period, Islamist extremists killed 21 journalists, among them 8 shot dead at Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7.
"The Middle East remains the region with the highest casualties: 17 killed," Press Emblem Campaign notes.