RSF: Fewer Journalists Killed and Arrested in 2000
The international press watchdog Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF -- Reporters without Borders,) said Wednesday that fewer journalists were killed or arrested for their work or their opinions in 2000 than in the previous 12 months, reported AFP.
The latest Palestinian Intifada had witnessed the killing and injuring of Journalists as they were on duty reporting clashes in the Palestinian territories, according to Palestine’s WAFA news agency.
Palestinian Aziz Yossif Al Teneh, head of WAFA office in Bethlehem, was shot by Israeli fire in clashes on the 28th of October 2000. Teneh was transferred to Jordan for treatment and later on died of injuries.
However, Paris-based RSF said 26 journalists were killed last year compared to 36 in 1999, while the number of arrests had dropped from 446 to 329, the AFP added.
As of January 3, the group said 77 journalists were being held in jails worldwide, which it said was the lowest figure in recent years.
Of the journalists who died, RSF said 22 were killed over their work and four others died in attacks in which it was not easy to determine if they had been targeted.
According to RSF, eleven were killed by rebels or separatist groups "fighting those in power," it said, including three in Sierra Leone, two in Sri Lanka and two in Colombia.
More than half the journalists imprisoned worldwide were being held in just four countries: 13 in Myanmar, 12 in China, 10 in Iran and nine in Ethiopia, said AFP.
A total of 295 media were censored or suspended during the year 2000 compared to 357 in 1999. The most repressive countries were Iran, which closed down 30 news outlets, and Turkey.
While RSF was pleased the figures were coming down, it said around 20 countries were still harassing reporters and that about a third of the world's population still had no access to a free press – (Several Sources)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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