Thursday, April 27, 2006

Reporters without Borders' Report on Journalists in Iraq

Here is the latest report from Reporters without Borders highlighting the dangers facing journalists while covering the war on Iraq. Below is the press release. Here is the link to the full report.

Press Release on Reporters Without Borders' Report: Three years of slaughter in Iraq
20th March 2006

The war in Iraq has proved to be the deadliest for journalists since World War II. A total of 86 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the war began on 20 March 2003. This is more than the number killed during 20 years of war in Vietnam or the civil war in Algeria.

Iraq is also one of the world’s biggest marketplaces for hostages, with 38 journalists kidnapped in three years. Five of them were executed. Three - Jill Carroll, Reem Zeid and Marwan Khazaal - are still being held by their abductors.

Around 63 journalists were killed in Vietnam during the 20 years from 1955 to 1975 . A total of 49 media professionals were killed in the course of their work during the war in ex-Yugoslavia, from 1991 to1995. During the civil war in Algeria from 1993 to 1996, 77 journalists and media assistants were killed.

Paul Moran, an Australian cameraman working for ABC television, was the first of the long series of journalists to die in Iraq. He was killed by a car bomb right at the start of the war, on 22 March 2003. Eleven journalists and media assistants were killed during March and April 2003. Then the number of victims let up until the start of 2004 and a new wave of bombings and attacks by armed groups. There have been no more let-ups since then. Hardly a month has gone by without at least one journalist being killed. Twenty-eight media professionals were killed in Iraq in 2005 and eight have been killed so far this year.

The aim of this survey is to provide information about all the cases of journalists killed in Iraq just for trying to do their job, about the media they were working for and about the circumstances in which they died.

It also provides information about all the hostage-takings, which have been more numerous than in any other war and have involved citizens of many different countries, both those that are participants in the war and those that are not.

This is the second time that Reporters Without Borders has produced such a survey. The first one was published on 3 May 2005, on World Press Freedom Day.

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