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Statement from Freedom of the Press Caucus Co-Chairs Schiff and Chabot on Reports of 43 Journalists Killed in 2020

Most Recently, Iranian Journalist Murdered This Weekend for “Fanning Unrest”

Washington, December 16, 2020 | comments
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Washington D.C. – Today, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Freedom of the Press Caucus released the following statement on International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) new whitepaper regarding 2658 journalists who have been murdered since 1990, including 42 journalists in 2020. Just this weekend, Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam was executed for running a website that criticized the Iranian government, bringing the year’s total to 43.

“We are deeply troubled by IFJ’s tragic findings that 42 journalists were killed this year and that 235 journalists remain in prison,” the Co-Chairs said. “With the addition of Ruhollah Zam’s execution, 2659 journalists have been murdered over the past 30 years – which equates to about two journalists or media workers killed every week. Media freedom is critical to hold governments accountable to their citizens. No matter where they are located, journalists like Mr. Zam should be free to fulfill the critical mission of providing timely, accurate information to the public without the fear of repression, imprisonment, or death.”

On December 10, IFJ issued a white paper documenting the killing of journalists since 1990. According to IFJ, “[t]he IFJ casualty toll included all journalists, freelance as well as support staff such as drivers, fixers and translators who died during newsgathering activities…giving a fuller picture of the extent of casualties within the media workforce.”

Ruhollah Zam was convicted of “corruption on earth” for his work running Amad News, a news website Iran accused of inciting the 2017-2018 protests.

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