Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Philippines is 5th deadliest country for media

Many of the media killings that have been documented in the Philippines took place in the provinces and involved police officers and military men. Apart from these killings, there are many incidents of harassment of media workers that remain unreported. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) members agreed to come up with independent actions to address the killings.
Among other plans, the NUJP agreed to form an investigating committee that will probe into the cases of killings and harassments and to ask Congress to investigate - Alvin

A coalition pushing for the safety of the members of the press worldwide has condemned the rise in the killings of journalists this year that reached 110, or 14 more than the death toll in 2006, and 42 more than the number of fatalities in 2005. “Never before has so many journalists been killed in one year…It is unacceptable. We strongly condemn these acts of violence…Therefore, the year 2007 marked a new deterioration for freedom of the press worldwide" said Blaise Lempen, secretary general of the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC). PEC is a coalition of groups that seeks the adoption of an international emblem for journalists — similar to the symbols used by humanitarian workers under the Red Cross. Based on data from PEC, the Philippines, similar to Afghanistan, ranked fifth in the list of countries that recorded the deadliest year for journalists. Each of the two countries, recorded four killings of journalists in 2007, according to PEC. The coalition said that this year, Iraq remained as the most dangerous country for journalists with 50 deaths, followed by Somalia with eight fatalities. Sri Lanka ranked third with seven deaths, while Pakistan is fourth with five victims. Meanwhile Haiti, Columbia, and Mexico were sixth, with 3 journalists killed in each country. Nepal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, India, and Guatemala were all in the seventh place with two journalists killed in each country. On the eighth, with one journalist killed in each country are the following: Honduras, Uzbekistan, Salvador, Burma/Myanmar, United States, Paraguay, Gaza, Zimbabwe, Russia, Peru, Brazil, Ghana, and Turkey.PEC said majority of journalists killed were those covering conflict zones. It said 69 of the 110 killed were in these zones, particularly in Iraq, Sri Lanka, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Lempen said the increase in the number of victims among journalists “is directly linked to the coverage of major conflict marked by grave human rights violations of major dimensions."The coalition said that in other situations, journalists were targeted because of their political opinion. PEC cited the cases of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaia killed last year in October, and others like Hrant Dink killed January 19 this year in Istanbul, Turkey; Edward Chikombo killed in April 2007 in Zimbabwe;Francois Latour who died on 23 May, 2007 in Port-au Prince (Haiti); Serge Maheshe, of Radio Okapi, on 13 June, 2007 in Bukavu, the DRC; and the Japanese reporter Kenji Nagai, on 27 September 2007 in Rangoun during the peaceful demonstrations that were followed by a brutal crackdown. - GMANews.TV

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