Attacks On The Press p.14

By: DEBRA GERSH HERNANDEZ THERE ARE SOME records that are better left unbroken.
The 182 journalists imprisoned in 22 countries in 1995 set a new record, set just a year earlier at 173, according to the annual "Attacks on the Press" report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The leading jailer was Turkey, which for the second year in a row saw more journalists in prison than any other nation. In fact, the 51 journalists imprisoned in Turkey was considerably more than Ethiopia (31), China (20) and Kuwait (18).
In all, the 1995 report documents 720 incidents of attacks on the press.
According to CPJ executive director William A. Orme Jr., Turkey's laws classifying any nongovernment accounts of the Kurdish conflict as terrorist propaganda, and making it a crime to "incite racial hatred," have been "the government's favored tools of repression."
It was the later regulation that sent American journalist Aliza Marcus, who was reporting for Reuters, to jail. Although she faced up to three years in prison, the charges against Marcus were dropped in the face of protests from prominent foreign journalists.
"Imprisonment is a very effective form of censorship," Orme commented, noting also that, "Assassination is the ultimate form of censorship."
CPJ reported that 51 journalists were victims of that ultimate censorship in 1995, 45 of whom were political assassinations and six of whom were killed in combat assignments.
Algeria, for the second year in a row, was the deadliest place for journalists, with 24 murdered by rebel terrorists.
Although Orme noted that Algeria was unique in scale, it was not so in kind.
Other nations in which journalists were killed in 1995 include seven in Russia, four in Brazil, three in Colombia, and one each in Angola, Azerbaijan, Burundi, Canada, Croatia, Dominican Republic, India, Mexico, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda and Ukraine.
The CPJ staff also is continuing to investigate the deaths of another nine journalists in 1995 to determine whether their deaths were directly related to their profession, CPJ's criteria for inclusion in the report.
Those deaths were in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Guatemala, four in Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
If there is any good news in this report, the number of journalists killed in 1995 was less than the 73 who were killed in 1994, 59 of whom were murdered and 14 of whom were combat casualties.
The 1995 report also includes, for the first time, a complete list of the 456 confirmed cases of journalists killed in 61 countries over the past 10 years.
More than 300 of those killed were political assassinations, though CPJ found that few had been prosecuted for the acts.
The nations in which the most journalists have been killed over the past 10 years are: Algeria, 53, all killed by Islamic terror factions, according to CPJ; Yugoslavia, 45, killed in cross-fire and assassinated; Colombia, 43, mostly in reprisal for reporting about drug trafficking; Tajikistan, 29, killed by death squads and armed insurgents; and the Philippines, also 29, killed for reporting on corruption during the nation's transition to democracy.
In his introduction to the report, however, Orme pointed out that, "The homicide rate among journalists is not, it should be stressed, the most accurate inversely correlating index of press freedom.
"In the most repressive societies, murders of journalists are extremely rare, because journalists are extremely rare.
"And," he added, "there are many countries, such as China, Ethiopia, Syria and Kuwait, where journalists are rarely killed, but are routinely imprisoned, often for near-life terms."
The 182 journalists imprisoned in 22 countries in 1995 set a new record, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists
The 51 journalists imprisoned in Turkey was considerably more than Ethiopia (31), China (20) and Kuwait (18)


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