The U.S. made it into the top 10 deadliest countries for journalists this year for the first time, in an annual report from Reporters Without Borders, as reported by The Hill. The U.S. ranked sixth after Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico, Yemen and India. The deadliest country was Afghanistan, where 15 died in violent attacks such as bombings, followed by Syria with 11 and Mexico with nine.
According to the Paris-based group, also known by its French acronym RSF, six journalists were killed in the U.S. this year, including four who were among five people killed by a gunman who opened fire in the offices of Maryland newspaper Capital Gazette on June 28. The shooting was the deadliest single attack on the media in recent U.S. history.
Echoing concerns in a similar report from RSF, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) highlighted by what the New York-based media freedom group called the "brazen murder" of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
"The White House … has equivocated on the blame for Khashoggi's murder... Essentially, [U.S. President Donald] Trump signaled that countries that do enough business with the United States are free to murder journalists without consequence," said the report by CPJ's Elana Beiser.
Since the Oct. 2 murder of Khashoggi at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, the U.S. administration has come under pressure at home over the nearly four-year-old conflict. Asked whether he believed the crown prince had ordered Khashoggi's murder, President Trump said last month, "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't."