Relatives of Egyptian journalist El-Husseini Abu Deif, killed during clashes in Cairo
Relatives of Egyptian journalist El-Husseini Abu Deif, killed during clashes in Cairo the previous week, mourn during his funeral, Cairo, Dec. 12, 2012. Photo by AFP
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The year 2012 saw a 42-percent rise in deaths of journalists, as they were killed or targeted for murder while covering everything from the fighting in Syria to countries like Pakistan and Somalia, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.

The CPJ also noted that it was also investigating a further 30 journalist deaths last year.

Of the 67 deaths this year, 28 foreign journalists were killed covering the conflict in Syria or directly targeted for murders by government or opposition forces in that country. At least 13 Syrian journalists, many of them working for foreign news organizations, were killed covering the conflict in their country, the press organization said.

"While nearly every aspect of journalism has been transformed by technology, the central function that journalists fulfill remains unaltered," said Joel Simon, CPJ executive director.

"Journalists bear witness. When journalists are killed, our understanding of critical global events is diminished. In no place has this truth been revealed more dramatically than Syria, where so many journalists have been killed seeking to inform the world."

The CPJ annual report said one-third of the total deaths of journalists were of those who work online, which was a sharp rise from the one-fifth proportion in 2011, CPJ said.

Somalia was the deadliest country after Syria, with 12 journalists targeted for murders. CPJ said Somalia has not prosecuted a single journalist murder in the past decade and demanded more information on the murders.

There were seven journalist deaths in Pakistan, including four in Balushistan. There were four targeted killings related to corruption stories in Brazil, despite the country's commitments to international law and respect of human rights.