Lanka 3rd deadliest place for journalists

World Association of Newspapers issues stinging report on hazards facing media

Sri Lanka has been ranked as the third deadliest place for journalists in 2007 by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), a Paris based global organisation which defends and promotes media freedom world-wide.

The association said six journalists were killed in Sri Lanka last year while eight were killed in Somalia (2nd) 44 killed in Iraq (1st). World-wide some 95 journalists and other media workers were killed in 2007 because of their professional activities, with Iraq and other conflict zones accounting for more than two-thirds of the deaths.

The WAN list of those killed in Sri Lanka included the three Voice of Tiger Radio announcers whom the government refused to recognise as journalists as they did not possess government media accreditation cards. The three were killed last year in an air raid in the Wanni.Others killed included a student and editor of the ‘Chaalaram’ magazine, an Uthayan journalist and a scribe from the ‘Nilam’ magazine.

The 2007 world death toll, released after investigation into all potential media murders, is the second highest since 1998 when WAN began tracking annual deaths. It compares with 110 killed in 2006, 58 in 2005, 72 in 2004 and 53 in 2003.
“Iraq continues to be the deadliest country in the world for media and the rising number of journalists killed in all conflicts is a cause for deep concern,” WAN Chief Executive Officer Timothy Balding said.He said that journalists in many countries were also being targeted and killed for investigating organised crime, drug trafficking, corruption and other crimes.

“In the vast majority of cases, nobody is brought to justice for their murders,” Mr Balding said.

The global organisation for the newspaper industry represents 18,000 newspapers and its membership includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspapers and newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide media groups.

Full List of journalists killed in 2007:

Afghanistan (2); Brazil (1); Burma (1); China (1); Democratic Republic of the Congo (2); El Salvador (1); Eritrea (2); Guatemala (1); Haiti (2); Honduras (1); Iraq (44); Kyrgyzstan (1); Mexico (3); Nepal (3); Pakistan (5); Palestinian Territories (2); Paraguay (1); Peru (1); Philippines (2); Russia (2); Somalia (8); Sri Lanka (6); Turkey (1); United States (1); and Zimbabwe (1).
Daily Mirror – 10th Feb