Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published its annual worldwide round-up of journalists held hostage, imprisoned or missing.
Libya, where it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain reliable information, is the country most affected by missing journalist's problem. Four Libyan journalists and an Egyptian cameraman, all employed by privately-owned Barqa TV, were reported missing this year in Libya.
A total of 54 professional journalists – including one woman – are currently held hostage worldwide, a 35% increase on last year. It is no surprise that Syria is the country where non-state groups are holding the biggest number of journalists – 26. Daesh alone is holding 18, mainly in Syria and Iraq.
“A full-blown hostage industry has developed in certain conflict zones,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We are very alarmed by the increase in the number of reporters held hostage in 2015. The phenomenon is above all linked to the big surge in abductions of journalists in Yemen, where 33 were kidnapped by Houthis militias and Al-Qaeda in 2015, against two in 2014. Thirteen are still being held hostage.”
Eight journalists were reported missing in 2015. These disappearances occur mainly in conflict zones, where instability makes it harder to conduct investigations to locate missing journalists, if indeed there is any investigation at all.