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With 93 journalists killed, 2007 was another deadly year, says IPI report

(IPI/IFEX) ? The following is an IPI press release:

93 Reasons Why Journalism Remains a Dangerous Profession

Vienna, 8 May 2008

- With 93 journalists killed, 2007 was another deadly year. Iraq proved again to be the most hazardous place on earth from which to report, with the conflict accounting for almost half of all journalists killed during the year. In Somalia, another conflict zone, eight journalists were also killed.

In Europe, the murder of Hrant Dink by a Turkish nationalist reinforced the dangers to those who defend freedom of the press. In Russia, pressures on the media intensified in the run-up to elections, and impunity exists for those who harass, assault or murder journalists.

The Middle East and North Africa region was 2007's deadliest, with 42 of the 44 journalists killed dying in Iraq. Two journalists were killed in the Palestinian Authority. In the meantime, heightened security in other conflict zones, such as Sudan and Chad, made reporting difficult. Censorship was widespread in the region, with the critical press in Iran, for example, all but silenced.

Pressure continued to be exerted on the press in other African countries. While Somalia was the deadliest place to work in the region, the press was also severely restricted in Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Gambia, and Zimbabwe. Censorship came in all forms, from physical aggression to the subtle abuse of bureaucracy. In Zimbabwe, for example, where practicing journalism without a license triggers criminal charges, the authorities' reluctance in extending licenses appeared designed to obstruct reporters.

Armed conflicts in Asia made the region the second deadliest of 2007. However, the troubled countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka were not the only ones where journalist lives were lost. Four were killed in the Philippines, where reporting on corruption repeatedly proved fatal. China remained the worst jailer of journalists worldwide, with no less than 30 journalists and 50 bloggers currently imprisoned. In Australasia and Oceania, Fiji's interim government tightened its grip on the media following the 2006 coup.

Fifteen journalists were killed in the Americas. With two journalists killed and eight missing, Mexico remained the region's most dangerous country. In the U.S., Chauncey Bailey of the Oakland Post was gunned down in the first targeted assassination of a journalist in that country since 1993.

"Like the murder of Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, Hrant Dink's murder reinforces not only the bravery of journalists everywhere who challenge censorship, but also the very real dangers of doing so," said IPI Director David Dadge.

The IPI World Press Freedom Review 2007 is the Vienna-based International Press Institute's annual review of press freedom in over 140 countries around the world.

To read the IPI World Press Freedom Review 2007 online, visit the IPI Website at: http://www.freemedia.at

IPI, the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, is dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism.

For further information on the Bailey case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/90398

For further information on the Politkovskaya case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/86766

For further information on the Hrant Dink case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/91452

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