Saturday, February 9, 2008

65 journalists killed in 2007

The Committee to Protect Journalists has said 65 journalists were killed in 2007. According to the report, 32 of these deaths were in Iraq, which has had the highest number of deaths for the second year running.

The report says that "journalists were killed in unusually high numbers in 2007, making it the deadliest year for the press in more than a decade." According to the report, the number of deaths has increased by eight from the previous year and is more than double the figure for a decade ago.

The African director of the CPJ said that , in general, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which came fourth in the list, “is fairly antagonistic to the independent press, and unfortunately we [the CPJ] monitor a lot of cases [in the Democratic Republic of Congo] of harassment, imprisonments, and even murders that are carried out with impunity."

The report also shows that the number of journalists imprisoned in 2007 has decreased from the 2006 figure, with the 2007 figure, which was 127, being approximately the same as the 2005 figure. It also states that 57% of those imprisoned are done so on antistate charges, and that 17% have no publicly disclosed charge pressed against them. The director of the CPJ criticized these imprisonments in the report, saying that “imprisoning journalists on the basis of assertions alone should not be confused with a legal process. This is nothing less than state-sponsored abduction.” He continued by stating that he believes "every one of these 127 journalists should be released," and that the CPJ are "especially concerned for those detained without charge because they’re often held in abysmal conditions, cut off from their lawyers and their families.”

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