charlie hebdo
110 journalists have lost their lives in 2015, reports Reporters without Borders. Picture: The front page of Charlie Hebdo magazine entitled "Here we go again",displayed at a kiosk in Nice February 25, 2015.Reuters

France featured in the top three dangerous countries for journalists in 2015, while India was in the top nine, indicating a reversal from last year's situation when two-third journalist deaths occurred in war zones.

In 2015, 64% journalist deaths were reported outside of war zones.

France reported eight journalist deaths in 2015 due to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015. It is preceded by Islamic State strongholds Iraq and Syria, reporting 11 and 10 fatalities, respectively.

"We almost never sent journalists to war zones. On 7 January, war came to us," said satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's publisher Laurent Sourisseau 'Riss' in October 2015.

A total of 110 journalists lost their lives in 2015, according to the Reporters sans Frontiers (RSF) annual report, pushing up the number of fatalities in the last decade to 787. 

Iraq topped the list at 11, followed by Syria at 10; India reported nine deaths, France, Yemen and Mexico reported eight deaths, South Sudan, Philippines and Honduras reported seven.

However, France ranked third on the list in spite of having fewer number of deaths than India as it was the only country where all deaths were "targeted" killings, while other countries reported a mix of targeted killings as well as deaths for which reasons were "unclear". 

The 2015 report states that 67 journalists were killed due to the nature of their work, 49 of who were targeted specifically for their work, while the rest died in the field. The reasons for 43 deaths remain unclear due to "lack of thorough and impartial official investigations, the lack of good faith on the part of governments, or the difficulty of investigating in unstable or lawless regions".

The Committee to Protest Journalists has also published a similar report stating that 69 journalists have lost their lives in the line of duty or for their work.

Of the 110 journalists reported dead by RSF, two were women — one in France, one in Somalia.

Nine journalists died in India in 2015, of which five were killed in the course of their work or were knowingly murdered, making India the most dangerous Asian country for journalists. Two of those deaths were related to illegal mining in the country.

"I am deeply concerned about the failure to reduce the frequency and scale of targeted violence that journalists face and the near absolute impunity for such crimes," United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had said on 6 August, 2015, in his annual report on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.

The lack of safety provisions and infrastructure for journalists has been a major concern for which RSF has been advocating, calling for creation of "specific mechanism for enforcing international law on the protection of journalists", said RSF secretarygeneral Christophe Deloire while addressing the UN Security Council (UNSC) in New York in May 2015.

The UNSC in May had adopted a resolution regarding protection of journalists in armed conflicts.