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Forty journalists killed so far in 2005

8 July 2005

Forty journalists killed so far in 2005, says IPI

SOURCE: International Press Institute (IPI), Vienna

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is an IPI press release:

Vienna, 8 July 2005

Journalists Under Threat: 40 Journalists Killed So Far In 2005

2005 is turning out to be another deadly year for journalists. According to IPI's statistics, 40 journalists, in particular those investigating corruption, drug trafficking and other illegal activities, have been killed so far this year. At least 11 journalists and media staffers have died in Iraq alone. Six journalists were killed in the Philippines, and two each in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Pakistan and Somalia. Journalists were also murdered in nine other countries. In 2004, IPI recorded 78 journalists killed worldwide.

Thirteen journalists have been killed so far this year in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), where Iraq is once again proving to be the most dangerous country in the world in which to work as a journalist. Several Iraqi journalists, caught in the middle of a deadly conflict between coalition troops and insurgents, were apparently murdered because they worked for Western or U.S.-funded newspapers or broadcasters. In addition to the 11 deaths recorded in Iraq, journalists were killed in Libya and Lebanon, where Samir Qassir, a prominent columnist for the leading Lebanese daily newspaper, an-Nahar, and an outspoken critic of the pro-Syrian Lebanese regime, died on 2 June when a bomb, hidden under the driver's seat of his car, was detonated.

In the Americas, nine journalists have been killed so far in 2005, including two each in Brazil, Colombia, Haiti and Mexico. One journalist, a reporter for the Chilean news agency, La Bocina, was killed in Ecuador while covering protests against President Lucio Gutiérrez.

In Asia, where 14 journalists have been killed, six journalists were murdered in the Philippines alone. At least 62 journalists have been killed because of their work in the Philippines since democracy was restored in 1986. Most of these journalists were investigating corruption and other illegal activities, and almost none of the killers have been brought to justice. Two journalists were killed in Bangladesh and Pakistan, respectively, as well as one each in Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

In Europe, one journalist was killed in Azerbaijan and the southern Russian republic of Dagestan, respectively.

Two journalists were killed in Sub-Saharan Africa, both of them in Somalia, where Kate Peyton, a prominent TV producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), was shot dead by a masked gunman outside her hotel in Mogadishu on 9 February.

Speaking about this deadly trend against journalists, IPI Director Johann P. Fritz said, "While many journalists are accidentally caught in the cross-fire when reporting on various conflicts, etc., many more are deliberately targeted. Most of these attacks are committed with impunity. All too often, there is little or no evidence to suggest that the authorities are taking decisive action to identify and bring to justice those responsible for these heinous crimes."

"The failure of governments around the world to ensure immediate and thorough investigations into these killings is unacceptable," Fritz said.

For more information, see the IPI Death Watch, on the IPI Website: http://www.freemedia.at

ENDS

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