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Ninety-five journalists killed worldwide in 2007, reports WAN

(WAN/IFEX) - The following is a WAN press release:

95 Journalists Killed Worldwide in 2007: WAN

Paris, 7 February 2008 - Ninety-five journalists and other media workers were killed world-wide because of their professional activities in 2007, with Iraq and other conflict zones accounting for more than two-thirds of the deaths, the World Association of Newspapers said Thursday.

Forty-four journalists and other media workers were killed in Iraq last year. Somalia was the second deadliest place for journalists, with eight killed, followed by Sri Lanka (6) and Pakistan (5).

The 2007 death toll, released after investigation into all potential media murders, is the second highest since WAN began tracking annual deaths in 1998. It compares with 110 killed in 2006, 58 killed in 2005, 72 killed in 2004, and 53 killed 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," said Timothy Balding, Chief Executive Officer of the Paris-based WAN.

Journalists in many countries are 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," said Mr Balding.

Journalists and other media workers were killed in 25 countries and territories 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).

The full list can be found at http://www.wan-press.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=873

Five journalists have already been killed in 2008, in Afghanistan, Brazil, Honduras, Iraq and Nepal.

Several press freedom organisations track the number of journalists killed each year. The numbers vary based on the criteria used by different associations. WAN's figures include all media workers killed in the line of duty or targeted because of their work. It also includes cases where the motive for the killings is unsure or where investigations have not been completed.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspapers and newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups.

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