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RP Among Most Dangerous For Journalists In 2005
In all, 63 journalists were killed last year in 22 countries.
“Despite the conviction (in 2005) of the killer of (Filipino) journalist Edgar Damalerio, murdered in 2002 on the (Philippines’ southern) island of Mindanao, impunity remained the rule,” Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF-Reporters without Borders) yesterday said of the constant danger that Filipino media practitioners face.
More than 60 journalists were killed in 2005 and 1,300 physically attacked or threatened, making it the deadliest year since 1995, the press freedom watchdog RSF added.
In 2004, 53 journalists and 15 media assistants were killed.
In 1995, 64 journalists died, 22 in Algeria.
In Iraq, the deadliest country for the media for the third year running, 24 journalists and five media assistants were killed last year.
A total of “76 journalists and media assistants have been killed there since the start of fighting in March 2003, more than in the 1955-1975 Vietnam War. Terrorist strikes and Iraqi guerrilla attacks were the main cause but the US Army killed three of them,” RSF said in its annual report.
“Iraqi TV producer Wael al-Bakri, 30, was shot dead by US troops on June 28. A US Third Infantry Division spokesman admitted the next day in Baghdad that a US unit was involved in his death and said an inquiry had been opened. No result has been announced, nor in the other investigated killings,” the group noted.
It said journalists in other Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) were also killed “because of their work.”
Violence against journalists also increased in Africa, with journalists murdered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Somalia and their killers (some of them known) going unpunished, the report said.
“The investigation of the Dec. 2004 murder of Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara, the local correspondent of Agence France-Presse and Reporters without Borders, made no progress because the authorities did all they could to prevent those responsible from being identified and to ensure they escaped punishment,” it added.
In 2005, the RSF report said, at least 807 journalists were arrested, 1,308 were physically attacked or threatened and 1,006 media outlets censored.
At the start of 2006, it also noted that 126 journalists and 70 cyber-dissidents were in jail around the world.
China holds the largest number of imprisoned reporters (32), followed by Cuba (24), Ethiopia (17), Eritrea (13) and Myanmar (five).
“The Internet is still tightly controlled by some repressive governments and (RSF) has drawn up a list of 15 ‘enemies of the Internet’ (Belarus, Myanmar, China, Cuba, Iran, Libya, the Maldives, Nepal, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam),” the report said.