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Journalists in Peril:
The Costly Fight for Freedom of the Press throughout the World
By Dr. Bruce C. Swaffield
Each day, somewhere in the world, a journalist is arrested, beaten, jailed, maimed or even killed. The fight for truth and freedom has become a costly battle in many countries around the globe. Dozens of journalists each year pay heavily for trying to report the news or to tell the truth about what is really going on in their countries. The stories may deal with political struggles, drug deals, embezzlement, the black market, murders, rapes or even organized crime.
For example, just last August, a newspaper columnist in Mexico was killed by a mob of assailants. The columnist was known to write about problems in education, organized crime and political corruption. Members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange issued a statement concerning this senseless attack:
IFEX members have condemned the killing of Mexican newspaper columnist Francisco Arratia Saldierna, who was beaten to death by unidentified assailants in the northern border city of Matamoros on 31 August 2004.
PROBIDAD, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontierès, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) are calling for an immediate investigation into Arratia's murder.
Mexican news reports said a group of individuals went to Arratia's car dealership and had an argument with him. Shortly after, Arratia was heading home when he was abducted by the group. He was brutally tortured. His body was dumped outside the offices of the Red Cross and he died several hours later in hospital.
Arratia, 55, wrote a column called "Portavoz" ("Spokesman") for four newspapers in the state of Tamaulipas - "El Imparcial," "El Regional," "Mercurio" and "El Cinco." He wrote often about organised crime, political corruption and education. He was also a schoolteacher and operated a used car business.
More than 200 journalists from across Mexico have written a letter to President Vicente Fox calling for the federal government to ensure the safety of journalists working along the country's borders. They say federal authorities should have jurisdiction in crimes against journalists. (Mexico 2004)
To be sure, the incident involving Arratia is not an isolated one. While most Americans are familiar with the death of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 at the hands of Pakistani militants, few have probably heard about a foreign reporter who was killed in Baghdad as he covered the ongoing conflict in Iraq:
On 12 September 2004, Mazen al-Tumeizi, a reporter for Al-Arabiya television, was killed while covering clashes in Baghdad, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Two other journalists were injured.
Al-Tumeizi was reporting on an American armoured vehicle that had caught fire in the centre of Baghdad amid fierce fighting between Iraqi insurgents and U.S. forces. As crowds gathered around the vehicle, one or more U.S. helicopters opened fire, hitting Al-Tumeizi and two colleagues, says CPJ. Reuters camera operator Seif Fouad and freelance photographer Ghaith Abdul Ahad survived the attack.
According to CPJ, Al-Tumeizi was the 33rd journalist killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. The International News Safety Institute (INSI), which includes media support staff such as drivers and translators in its tallies, says 52 media workers have died in Iraq in the same period.
Meanwhile, CPJ, IFJ and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) have criticised Iraq's interim government for imposing an indefinite ban on Al-Jazeera. The broadcaster's offices were sealed by police on 4 September.
The government accuses Al-Jazeera of inciting violence and hatred in its coverage of Iraq. Officials claim that the broadcaster's coverage of kidnappings encourages Iraqi militants and creates a negative picture of Iraq.
In August, authorities had imposed a temporary 30-day ban on Al-Jazeera and ordered it to provide a full explanation of its coverage. Al-Jazeera denies that its coverage incites violence and says it is committed to covering Iraq according to its editorial policy and professional code of ethics.
RSF says the ban on Al-Jazeera and other actions by the interim government are worrying. Authorities have shown little interest in investigating cases in which journalists have been attacked or gone missing, the organisation notes.
In one incident on 25 August, police briefly detained some 60 journalists covering clashes in Najaf and accused them of "not telling the truth. (Iraq 2004)
More than 20 reporters have been killed in Iraq during 2004 alone, yet little news of these deaths has been reported. The Committee to Protect Journalists continues to speak out against the treatment of journalists. They point out journalists are merely reporting events of the war and do not represent one side or the other, despite the fact they are employed by the media in a certain country.
In occupied Iraq, journalists have become an increasingly unwelcome presence. Since January 2004, insurgents have abducted at least 20 journalists and US-led coalition authorities have shown an indifference to media safety concerns despite the deaths of close to 50 journalists and media staff since March 2003, reports the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Hostile conditions have forced many foreign media outlets to "bunker down" in high-security compounds protected by thick walls. There is a widespread perception among Iraqis that foreign journalists are "spies" or collaborators with coalition forces. In August 2004, Italian freelance journalist Enzo Baldoni was abducted and killed by insurgents who demanded that Italy withdraw its troops from Iraq.
These conditions have forced many foreign media to become increasingly reliant on Iraqi reporters and media staff to report the news. Not surprisingly, locals have become particularly vulnerable to attacks, says CPJ.
On 15 October 2004, two journalists became the latest victims. Dina Mohammed Hassan, a correspondent for Al-Hurriya TV, was gunned down outside her home in Baghdad as she was leaving for work. In the northern city of Mosul, Karam Hussein, a photographer for the German-based European Pressphoto Agency (EPA), was killed by four men who opened fire on him as he exited his home.
CPJ, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) have condemned the murders and called on authorities to conduct immediate inquiries.
The motives for the attacks are unclear. Hassan's employer, Al-Hurriya, is owned by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, a party that enjoys friendly relations with the United States. Neighbours and friends of Hassan claim that she had been told by unidentified individuals to stop working for Al-Hurriya and to wear an Islamic headscarf, CPJ notes. EPA's editor-in-chief, Cengiz Seren, said he was unaware of any threats against Hussein.
In another incident, Australian freelance journalist John Martinkus was abducted by insurgents on 17 October in Baghdad. He was released the next day after convincing his captors that he was not a spy for coalition forces.
Meanwhile, the fate of two French journalists and a Syrian guide who were kidnapped two months ago by insurgents remains unknown. "Figaro" correspondent Georges Malbrunot, Radio France Internationale contributor Christian Chesnot and Mohammed Al-Joundi have been held captive since 20 August. IFJ, RSF, CPJ and other press freedom groups have called for their immediate release. (Iraq: Two Journalists 2004)
There also is the story of Mauro Marcano, a talk show host, who was gunned down after exposing local businessmen who were involved in drug trafficking:
On 1 September 2004, unidentified men shot and killed radio show host Mauro Marcano in the city of Maturín, eastern Venezuela, reports the Institute for Press and Society (Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, IPYS).
Marcano, 55, was the host of an opinion show on Radio 1.080 AM, a local station. Unofficial sources say he had implicated several local businessmen in reports on drug trafficking. Del Valle was also a councilor for the Acción Democrática party and headed the Maturín Municipal Chamber's Common Lands Commission. (Venezuela 2004)
In the same month in the Dominican Republic, a journalist was killed as well for trying to report on a series of crimes in Santo Domingo:
On 14 September 2004, gunmen shot and killed journalist Juan Emilio Andújar in Azua, Dominican Republic, shortly after he reported on an escalating crime wave that has seen as many as six journalists threatened in recent weeks.
The Inter American Press Association (IAPA), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have condemned the murder and called for an investigation.
Andújar and Juan Sanchez, a reporter for the Santo Domingo-based dailies "El Nacional" and "Hoy," were leaving the offices of Radio Azua on 14 September when two gunmen on motorcycles ambushed them, report CPJ and IAPA. Andújar was shot in the head and died shortly after. Sanchez survived the attack.
Jorge Luis Sención, a reporter for Enriquillo Radio, witnessed the shooting and went to Andújar's aid. Later that morning, Sención was ambushed by the same gunmen. He lost his right forearm to amputation and is recovering in a hospital under tight security.
A man thought to be one of the two assailants was killed by police in a gun battle yesterday. The other assailant is reportedly still at large.
Andújar, 49, was a respected journalist with 20 years of experience. He was a correspondent for the daily newspaper "Listín Diario," and hosted a weekly show, "Encuentro Mil 60" ("Encounter 1060"), on Radio Azua. On the day of his murder, Andújar had reported on local clashes earlier that morning between gangs and police which left four gang members dead, note IAPA and CPJ.
Azua has seen a surge in crime in recent weeks, which has led to clashes between police and gangs in the town. Andújar, Sanchez and six other journalists had received death threats because of their reports on the clashes. (Dominican Republic 2004)
Much closer to the United States, Guatemala has proven to be an especially dangerous place for journalists. Many face constant attacks for exposing corruption in their society and government. Recent reports indicate that those trying to cover the news are the target of many individuals and organized groups:
Seven years after Guatemala's civil war ended with the signing of peace accords in 1996, the country remains dangerous for journalists. Last week, the leader of a journalists' association was murdered and a magazine reporter received death threats, reports Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala (CERIGUA).
On 28 September 2004, Miguel Ángel Morales was killed by an unidentified individual while travelling on a highway from Guatemala City to Izabal. He had pulled over to the side to allow a car to pass him when an assailant shot him. He died instantly. Morales, 70, was the secretary general of the National Press Society (Círculo Nacional de Prensa, CNP). The motive for the killing has not been confirmed.
Three days earlier, César Augusto López Valle, director of the magazine "Panorama" in Retalhuleu, received a death threat. The journalist told CERIGUA that a local member of the Guatemalan Veterans' Association (Asociación de Veteranos Militares de Guatemala, AVEMILGUA) grabbed him by the neck and told him he would be killed if he continued to report on the association's activities.
Issues involving the military are highly sensitive in Guatemala. During the decades-long civil war, an estimated 200,000 people were killed, according to a U.N.-sponsored truth commission. It is widely believed that army forces, acting in collusion with paramilitary groups, were responsible for the majority of the killings. (Guatemala 2004)
Conditions in the Philippines are not much better for journalists and reporters. In many cases, those representing the media are shot and killed with no questions asked. A radio broadcaster was just murdered, bringing the total number of journalists killed in the country to eight persons so far in 2004.
The death toll in the Philippines continues to mount. On 19 October 2004, radio host Eldy Gaginales was shot dead, becoming the eighth journalist killed this year, report the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Gabinales was shot in the back three times by an unidentified assailant as he was leaving a supermarket in the town of Tandag. Police have yet to confirm a motive behind the murder. The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, an IFJ affiliate, says Gabinales may have been targeted for his outspoken views on illegal drug running and gambling practices in Tandag. As the host of "Singgit sa mga Lungsuranon" ("Cry of the People") on Radio DXJR-FM, he often expressed these views on the programme. (Philippines 2004)
This has been the “worst year” in recent history in the Philippines, according to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.
2003 was thought to be the worst year for journalists in the Philippines. A record seven were murdered, according to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). This year is proving to be just as dangerous. On 29 September 2004, Romeo Binungkal became the seventh journalist killed since January.
Binungkal, a correspondent for the Manila-based tabloids "Remate" and "Bulgar," was riding his motorcycle between Balanga City and Pilar, Bataan province, when unidentified assailants shot and killed him.
Police are investigating possible motives for the killing. No suspects have been detained. Binungkal, 43, was the former editor-in-chief of the local newspaper "Mt Samat Weekly Forum." He was also a businessman, according to Task Force Newsmen, a police group investigating journalists' murders.
CMFR, the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) have condemned the murder and called for an end to the impunity surrounding the murders of journalists. CMFR says 50 journalists have been killed since the country returned to democratic rule in 1986. No one has been convicted for any of the murders.
In response to growing local and international concern over the murders, the government has begun showing signs that it is serious about bringing the culprits to justice. The Philippines National Police recently arrested the suspected killers of Edgar Damalerio, Ely Binoya and Arnnel Manolo, and a taskforce has been struck to investigate the 31 July 2004 killing of Roger Mariano.
CPJ notes that most killings of journalists occur in rural areas, where criminal justice systems are often held hostage by local political bosses and corrupt police. This often keeps suspects from being brought to trial. At the same, time, Philippine journalists, many of whom are poorly paid, can be vulnerable to bribes and used by powerful figures and politicians to promote their agendas or attack enemies. (Philippines: Reporter Gunned 2004)
In the country of Belarus, a female journalist was found stabbed to death in her house soon after the President of the country won a controversial election:
A week after the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, won a controversial referendum that allows him to extend his term in office, IFEX members are raising serious concerns over press freedom conditions in the country. Last week, a journalist was stabbed to death in her home and several others were beaten while covering demonstrations against the government.
On 20 October 2004, Veronika Cherkasova was found stabbed to death in her apartment in Minsk, reported the International Press Institute (IPI), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Cherkasova's body was found with 20 stab wounds. A journalist for the independent newspaper Solidarnost ("Solidarity"), she mainly covered social and cultural news but occasionally wrote about politically sensitive issues such as drug abuse.
Police found no evidence of a break-in, and nothing was taken from the apartment, according to local reports. They have not ruled out the possibility that she was killed because of her work as a journalist, as she had been collecting material for an article on religious sects in Belarus. A colleague at "Solidarnost" also told CPJ that four months ago, Cherkasova had written a series of articles outlining the Belarusian Security Services' surveillance methods used to monitor civilians' activities.
Meanwhile, journalist Pavel Sheremet was physically assaulted on 17 October, the day Belarusians voted in a referendum to decide whether Lukashenko could extend his term in office. He suffered a concussion and was hospitalized. Police charged him with hooliganism.
On 19 October, several other journalists were physically assaulted while covering a peaceful opposition protest against the referendum result, according to RSF and CPJ. Camera operators from Russia's NTV and REN-TV stations had their equipment destroyed. Several foreign reporters said they were prevented from relaying footage of the referendum to viewers abroad.
The government claims that 77 per cent of voters supported extending Lukashenko's term to 2006. However, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says the Belarusian government failed to ensure conditions for a fair vote in the referendum. (Belarus: Reporter Murdered 2004)
In Bangladesh, an editor was “hacked to death” by assailants wielding axes. Apparently, several persons, identified as “professionals,” were upset after the 55-year-old man wrote about political corruption in his city:
On 2 October 2004, Dipankar Chakrabarty, editor of the daily newspaper "Durjoy Bangla" in the northwestern city of Sherpur, was savagely hacked to death by unidentified assailants, report Media Watch, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Chakrabarty, 55, was attacked by men with axes while returning home from work. Police said the assailants were most likely "professionals." A motive behind the killing has not yet been confirmed.
RSF says Chakrabarty had earlier told the press freedom group that he had been threatened for writing about local politicians who were reportedly protecting criminal organisations. He was the vice president of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and was the former president of the Bogra Union of Journalists and the Sherpur Press Club.
According to CPJ and RSF, he is the fourth journalist killed this year. In a country where corruption is rife and political parties are highly polarised, reporters are often targeted for covering political violence, graft, and organised crime.
However, in the majority of cases where journalists are attacked, it is because of their reports on corruption, says CPJ. In 2003, Transparency International rated Bangladesh the most corrupt country in the world for the third consecutive year. (Bangladesh 2004)
In incidents where reporters and journalists are not killed, often they are jailed for an extended period of time without any hope of release. In Eritrea, 17 journalists have been held captive for three years without being charged with any specific crimes.
Three years after the government of Eritrea launched a crackdown on the country's independent media, 17 journalists remain jailed without charges. Nine IFEX members have joined Amnesty International in calling attention to the journalists' plight by urging President Isaias Afewerki to release them and lift a ban on private newspapers.
In a joint letter sent to the president on 18 September 2004, the organisations said Eritrea was violating international human rights treaties by detaining the journalists. "As a state party to the [African Charter on Human and People's Rights], Eritrea is obligated to uphold the rights and freedoms protected by these agreements, including the right to freedom of expression," the organisations said.
The letter was signed by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Human Rights Watch, Media Institute of Southern Africa, West African Journalists Association, Freedom of Expression Institute, Journaliste en Danger, Media Institute, African Free Media Foundation, and Media Foundation for West Africa.
The detained journalists, who have not been charged, are being held in undisclosed locations, even though Eritrean law stipulates that an individual cannot be detained without charges for more than 30 days, says CPJ. None of the detainees have appeared before a judge or been provided with legal counsel, and officials have refused to supply any information regarding the health, whereabouts or legal status of the detainees.
Eritrea is the only country in Africa without any privately owned media outlets. It is also Africa's leading jailer of journalists, according to CPJ. Most of the imprisoned journalists were rounded up after the government ordered a clampdown on the press in September 2001. That came after senior politicians called for political reforms and independent media began writing editorials on human rights and democracy.
In a separate action, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) also called on President Afewerki to release the jailed journalists. (Eritrea 2004)
In order to help journalists throughout the world, and to promote freedom of the press to nearly half of all the nations, several organizations have been created. Most notable is the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). Its mission is, first, to help journalists who need immediate assistance and, second, to encourage governments to protect the rights of journalists. IFEX was created in 1992:
[W]hen many of the world's leading freedom of expression organizations came together in Montreal to discuss how best to further their collective goals.
Several funding and development organizations, recognizing the need for more cooperation among freedom of expression groups, provided the initial support for IFEX. These included The Ford Foundation, which provided funding to hold the first IFEX meeting; the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation of New York, which supported the establishment of the IFEX Action Alert Network; and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), which provided support for IFEX to extend its links into the developing world and promoted IFEX through its own developmental network.
At its core, IFEX is made up of organisations whose members refuse to turn away when those who have the courage to insist upon their fundamental human right to free expression are censored, brutalized or killed. Comprised of 65 organisations - located everywhere from the Pacific Islands to Europe to West Africa - IFEX draws together a tremendously diverse and dedicated global community. (Why IFEX Was Formed 2004)
Reporters without Borders is another group that fights for the rights of journalists. It has been at work, protecting the rights and privileges of the media, for almost 20 years. Their mission is simple and direct: to fight for freedom of the press throughout the world.
More than a third of the world's people live in countries where there is no press freedom. Reporters Without Borders works constantly to restore their right to be informed. Fourty-two media professionals lost their lives in 2003 for doing what they were paid to do -- keeping us informed. Today, more than 130 journalists around the world are in prison simply for doing their job. In Nepal, Eritrea and China, they can spend years in jail just for using the "wrong" word or photo. Reporters Without Borders believes imprisoning or killing a journalist is like eliminating a key witness and threatens everyone's right to be informed. It has been fighting such practices for more than 18 years. (About Us: Reporters 2004)
A third group, the Committee to Protect Journalists, has joined the battle as well. They have representatives throughout the world who are serving journalists in “more than 120 countries.”
Without a free press, few other human rights are attainable. A strong press freedom environment encourages the growth of a robust civil society, which leads to stable, sustainable democracies and healthy social, political, and economic development. CPJ works in more than 120 countries, many of which suffer under repressive regimes, debilitating civil war, or other problems that harm press freedom and democracy. (About Us: Why 2004)
It is, indeed, difficult to believe that journalists in various parts of the world must risk their lives just to tell a true story.
The fight to truth has been a costly battle. In the past 10 years, more than 300 journalists have been killed in the line of duty. In its annual report, the Committee to Protect Journalists analyzed the current state of the media worldwide:
During the last decade, 337 journalists have been killed while carrying out their work. While conflict and war provide the backdrop to much of the violence against the press, CPJ research demonstrates that the vast majority of journalists killed since 1995 did not die in cross fire. Instead, they were hunted down and murdered, often in direct reprisal for their reporting. In fact, according to CPJ statistics, only 67 journalists (20 percent) died in cross fire, while 244 (72 percent) were murdered often in reprisal for their reporting. The remaining journalists were killed in conflict situations that cannot be described as combat—while covering violent street demonstrations, for example.
Since 1995, CPJ has recorded only 35 cases in which the person or persons who ordered a journalist's murder have been arrested and prosecuted. That means that in more than 85 percent of the cases, those who murder journalists do so with impunity. In many cases, journalists are murdered either to prevent them from reporting on corruption or human rights abuses, or to punish them after they have done so. The brazenness of the killers is suggested by the fact that 60 of the 244 journalists who were murdered during the last decade were threatened before they were killed.
In 22 cases since 1995, journalists were kidnapped—taken alive by militants, criminals, guerrillas, or government forces—and subsequently killed. The kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in early 2002 highlighted this terrible phenomenon. In several cases, notably in Algeria and Turkey, journalists have simply “disappeared” after being taken into government custody. (The Toll 2004)
In presenting the “2004 Annual Report” for Reporters Without Borders, Pierre Veilletet explains the realities of being a journalist in countries where there is little regard for freedom of the press:
There was Jean Hélène, shot like a dog in an Abidjan parking lot. There was... one could go listing ad nauseam last year's drama in which journalists of every nationality lost their freedoms, or their lives, because they were journalists.
Every year, we would like to be able to announce to you that the sad litany is finally beginning to decrease. But this will not be the case for 2003, a black year if ever there was one. More than 120 journalists are still imprisoned and 42 were killed, mainly in Asia and the Middle East (in the Iraq war), compared with 25 in 2002. Moreover, all of the other so-called "indicators" have increased notably : 766 journalists detained, at least 1,460 physically attacked or threatened, and 501 news media censored. To this we should add the many other signs that are harder to quantify. We will return to them because they point to a worrying evolution in retaliatory methods.
Africa? The death of Jean Hélène was unfortunately not isolated. Covering a war is proving to be more and more dangerous, and armed conflicts persist in many countries. Moreover, in Paul Biya's Cameroon, Omar Bongo's Gabon, Lansana Conté's Guinea, Obiang Nguema's Equatorial Guinea, Paul Kagame's Rwanda, Gnassingbé Eyadéma's Togo and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, journalists must face the wrath of aging regimes clinging to power and protective of their authority. They all balk at liberalisation, especially when broadcasting is involved. Indeed, independent news media are becoming scarce throughout Africa and journalists continue to flee with a heavy heart.
In Asia, the dictatorships have the biggest prisons in the world for journalists who refuse to give up. At least 200 journalists were jailed - and in many cases tortured - in Asia last year. In Nepal for example and in Burma, where one of the few outsiders to enter the prison world described it as a "real hell." No one needs reminding that North Korea has no idea what press diversity is and China discourages anything that is not propaganda. What could be called "judicial harassment" prevails almost everywhere. Tried and tested forms of this can be found in Turkey, despite a slight relaxation aimed at improving the country's image for the European Union, and in former Soviet bloc republics such as the relentless Azerbaijan (with more than 100 physical attacks on journalists), Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan - countries with absolute censorship.
The war in Iraq has not improved press freedom or the safety of journalists in the Middle East, where it is now well established that Iran stands out for its brutality. The murder of photographer Zahra Kazemi on 19 July in Tehran's Evine prison was the most outrageous evidence of that. Encouraging signs of emancipation in Sudan and the Maghreb have been resisted by the old absolutist reflexes of control at all levels and mistrust at all times.
As for the Americas, a lopsided division endured. Press freedom is generally respected in most countries, but is violated every day in Cuba, Haiti and Colombia, which continues to be the region's most dangerous country. Four journalists were killed there. In North America, the confidentiality of sources was too often challenged.
So, it was undeniably a bad year, especially if examined in detail. (Veilletet 2004)
What the future holds for journalists overseas is uncertain. It will take much more time, work and money to make sure that journalists reporting the news anywhere are not punished for trying to keep the public informed. Along with various watchdog committees, we can take the time to become better informed about what is going on in our global community. We can regularly visit the websites of Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Freedom of Expression Exchange. Each site offers numerous ways for the public to become involved, whether it is by signing an online petition, sending an e-mail to a government official or writing a letter.
Those of us living in countries where freedom of the press is a guaranteed right have an obligation and a responsibility to help persons living in oppression. Our free voices can make a difference, if we are willing to speak up.
About Us: Reporters Without Borders is officially recognized as serving the public interest. RSF. October 15, 2004. http://www.rsf.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=280
About Us: Why is press freedom important? Committee to Protect Journalists. October 15, 2004. http://www.cpj.org/development/about_cpj.html
Bangladesh: Editor Savagely Murdered. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 40: October 5, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/61751
Belarus: Reporter Murdered, Others Beaten. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 43: October 26, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/62185
Dominican Republic: Journalist Murdered. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 38: September 21, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/61415
Eritrea: IFEX Members Urge Release of Jailed Journalists. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 38: September 21, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/61413
Guatemala: Journalist Killed, Another Threatened. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 40: October 5, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/61755
Iraq: Reporter Killed, Al-Jazeera Banned Indefinitely. IFEX Volume 13, Issue 37: September 14, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/61267
Iraq: Two Journalists Killed; French Reporters Remain Captive. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 42: October 19, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/62020
Mexico: Columnist Murdered. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 36: September 8, 2004.
Philippines: Reporter Gunned Down. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 40: October 5, 2004. (http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/61753)
Philippines: Reporter Murdered. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 42: October 19, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/62023
The Toll: 1995-2004. Committee to Protect Journalists. October 15, 2004. http://www.cpj.org/killed/Ten_Year_Killed/Intro.html
Veilletet, Pierre. 2004 Annual Report. Reporters Without Borders. October 15, 2004.
Venezuela: Radio Show Host Killed. IFEX. Volume 13, Issue 36: September 8, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/61167
Why IFEX Was Formed. IFEX. October 15, 2004. http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/23232