Press rights group reports 46 journalists died in 2011

An international media rights group says at least 46 journalists were killed worldwide last year, with Pakistan the deadliest country for the second year in a row.

In its annual “Attacks on the Press” report, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said deaths during dangerous assignments, such as covering street protests, reached a record level in 2011, as political unrest swept the Arab world.

The report says 17 journalists died on dangerous assignments. Country-by-country, Pakistan had the most deaths with seven, while Libya and Iraq followed with five each, and Mexico had three.

Photographers and camera operators made up about 40 percent of the overall death toll. The group noted an increase in the deaths of Internet journalists, who it says rarely appeared in the death toll before 2008. Nine online journalists were killed last year.

The death toll for 2011 was two fatalities more than in 2010.

The Committee to Protect Journalists also says it is investigating another 35 deaths from last year to determine if they were related to the person’s media work.

Meanwhile, the report says 179 journalists were imprisoned last year, the highest number since the mid-1990s. Iran had the most in jail, with 42, while Eritrea, China, Burma, Vietnam, Syria, and Turkey also ranked among the world’s top jailers.

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