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Journalists to UN Security Council: We need more protection

Journalists addressed the United Nations Security Council for the first time Wednesday, pleading for more protection and action over growing reporter deaths.

Un security council journalists 2013 07 17Enlarge
AFP's Somalia correspondent Mustafa Hajji Abdinur, (C), and Guardian journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (R), attend a United Nations Security Council meeting addressing violence against journalists on July 17, 2013 in New York City. The Security Council heard four journalists speak on the high level of attacks on reporters and photojournalists covering conflict zones, most recently while documenting Syria's civil war. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Journalists addressing the United Nations Security Council for the first time Wednesday said world leaders need to do more to protect reporters working in conflict zones and other dangerous situations.

One called for protections similar to those afforded by international diplomats.

More from GlobalPost: Record number of journalists killed worldwide in 2012

"When a journalist is killed the news dies too," AFP's Somalia correspondent Mustafa Haji Abdinur told council ambassadors.

Nearly 60 journalists have been killed in Somalia since the country's civil war began 20 years ago, including 18 last year, and Abdinur noted he's been called a "dead man walking" for working as a reporter there.

There's a sense of immunity in some countries toward people who kill journalists, and panelists said reporters need greater protections now more than ever.

More from GlobalPost: Fourth Somalia journalist killed this year

"Many of you hate us, by the way, and I know that," said Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a foreign correspondent for The Guardian who was jailed in Libya and Afghanistan, as diplomats burst into laughter.

"It's a sign that we're doing our job properly if we've managed to piss you off. But there has to be some sort of balance. Just let us be there. Treat us as human beings. Just don't kill us."

More than 600 journalists have died on the job in the past decade, with death rates highest in Iraq, the Philippines, Algeria and Russia last year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/politics/130717/journalists-un-security-council-more-protection