In its half-year report, the Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ), a global network that advocates for women journalists' rights and freedoms, said that direct violence including killings and assassination attempts have spiked – with a 450 percent increase of threats and intimidations, 38 percent of them in Europe.
According to the CFWIJ, 109 of the 280 freedom of the press violations happened in Europe from January to July.
In the past five years, the CFWIJ reported the killings of 45 women journalists, but only six people have been convicted of the murders, it said.
And Russia stands as the leading perpetrator of violations against women journalists in Europe, responsible for 30 percent of the violations, the CFWIJ reported.
The CFWIJ report – an exhaustive study of the precarious conditions women journalists are enduring globally – details the harrowing experiences of journalists in Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including Ukrainian Victoria Amelina, who was killed in Kramatorsk by Russian missiles – and injuries sustained by Anastasia Taylor-Lind and Yuliya Kiriyenko, also due to missile attacks.
“Misinformation, targeting of the media, and racial, political, and religious violence are merely tools and symptoms of something much greater happening to humanity,” says CFWIJ's founding director Kiran Nazish.
“When women journalists are targeted around the world in raising numbers, and entire cultural shifts take place against women and minorities who speak, the issue does not affect the media alone,” she said.
As journalists strive to shed light on conflict and corruption, they face an array of threats, from online harassment to physical attacks, the CFWIJ reported.
CFWIJ, in collaboration with 23 other press freedom organizations, demanded that international entities take a firm stance against Russia and hold it accountable for its actions against the press.
“Our findings are a wake-up call to the international community,” said Inge Snip, senior editor at CFWIJ. “The sheer number of press freedom violations in Europe is both unprecedented and unacceptable. We urge global action to protect these women who risk everything in the name of truth.”
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