Freedom of expression on trial Journalists' killing rise by 26pc -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Freedom of expression on trial Journalists’ killing rise by 26pc

SAADIA QAMAR

KARACHI: A journalism watchdog for reporters, Reporters Sans Frontiers, has categorically stated that there has been a rise in the number of journalists’ killing, which is 26 per cent as compared to last year.

It states, “Almost every journalist killed in 2009 died in their own country. The exception was Franco Spanish documentary film maker Christian Poveda, who was murdered in El Salvador,” Moreover it is these less known to international public opinion than the foreign correspondents.

It is these local journalists who pay the highest price every year to guarantee our right to be informed about wars, corruption or the destruction of the environment.

It highlights the alarming situation in Gaza Strip where; “The year began very badly with the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip. As well as refusing to allow foreign media into this territory, the Israeli government carried out military strikes against buildings housing media, in violation of international humanitarian law. Two reporters were killed in these attacks. Journalists and human rights defenders in the Russian Caucasus went through a terrifying year.

The witnesses to the dirty war waged by Moscow and its local allies to be “eliminated” with complete impunity inclued Natalia Estemirova in Chechnya and Malik Akhmedilov in Dagestan.” “Some extremist groups guaned down at least 15 journalists worldwide.

Nine reporters were killed in Somalia, where the Al-Shabaab militia carried
out constant target killings and suicide attacks. Four of these journalists worked for Radio Shabelle, which does its best to provide news amidst the surrounding chaos. Reporters in Pakistan have increasingly been targeted by the Taliban in the northwest of the country.”

It further stated, “Kidnappings have also continued to rise. Most cases are concentrated in Afghanistan, Mexico and Somalia. New York Times journalist David Rohde and his fixer man-aged to escape from the Taliban but Afghan reporter Sultan Munadi was killed in the military operation launched to rescue him.”
Reporters Without borders said:

“Three years have been passed since the UN Security Council adopted the Resolution 1738 regarding the protection of journalists in conflict zones but governments still seem incapable of protecting them.”

Other forms of violence, physical assaults and threats have gone up by one-third (from 929 cases in 2008 to 1,456 in 2009). Journalists are most at risk in America (501 cases), particularly when they expose drug-trafficking or local potentates.

Asia comes next with 364 cases of this, kind, chiefly in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The number of censored media is escalating alarmingly with nearly 570 cases of newspapers, radio or TV stations banned from putting out news or forced to close.

This happened to a satirical magazine in Malaysia, a score of reformist newspapers in Iran, Radio France International in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the BBC World Service in Rwanda. The number of journalists arrested fell slightly (from 673 in 2008 to 573 in 2009) above all because there were fewer cases in Asia. The largest number of cases was in the Middle East.

Source: The Nation

Date:1/2/2009