CPJ Issues Press 'Enemies' List p.29

By: Editorial Staff NIXON HAD HIS enemy list and so does the Committee to Protect Journalists.
On World Press Freedom Day, the CPJ named 10 "Enemies of the Press," chosen for their ruthless campaigns of suppression of journalists, as documented by CPJ.
"These ten individuals are characterized by their relentless hostility to the very concept of a free and independent press in their own countries and around the world," said William A. Orme, CPJ executive director. "They have deliberately engaged in hundreds of press freedom violations ranging from censorship, harassment and physical attack to imprisonment and even assassination."
These are the CPJ's 1997 "Enemies of the Press":
1.Algeria's Antar Zouabri, head of the militant Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Under his leadership and that of his predecessor, Abu Abdul Rahman Amin, the GIA has waged a campaign of assassination that has claimed the lives of 59 journalists since 1992.
2.China's President Jiang Zemin. Jiang continues to battle against all independent reporting, threatening to close down one-third of all publications that fail to tow the Communist Party line. Jiang, an overseer of the Tienanmen Square massacre, has plans to curtail press freedoms in Hong Kong when China takes over July 1.
3.Cuba's President Fidel Castro. Castro continues his harassment of independent journalists, using tactics such as organized mob rallies outside journalists' homes. Castro's security police routinely detain journalists and steal their belongings. Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that tolerates no free or independent domestic journalism.
4.Nigeria's Gen. Sani Abacha. Abacha escalated his vicious tactics to decimate the country's once thriving independent press and drive scores of journalists into exile. He ended 1996 with a rash of detentions of journalists for their critical coverage of government and the establishment of a press court solely for the prosecution of journalists. He is connected with the assassination of the wife of Concord publisher and Nigerian president-elect Moshood Abiola, and the attempted assassination of Guardian publisher Alex Ibru.
5.Turkey's Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. The press remains under threat from the provisions of the anti-terror law and penal code, which permit the arrest and prosecution of journalists for critical reporting on the government's ongoing conflict with Kurdish insurgents. Under Erbakan's regime, 78 journalists were in jail at the start of 1997 ? more than any other country.
6.Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko. Using Soviet-era tactics, Lukashenko has shut down independent media and publicly denouced journalists. He expelled Russia's best-known independent television bureau chief for "distorted coverage."
7.Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. In an effort to restrict press freedoms, Meles has used harassment, censorship, arrest and detention on journalists. There have been 104 documented imprisonments in Ethiopia in the last four years. At the end of January, there were more journalists in prison in Ethiopia than in any other African country.
8.Indonesia's President Suharto. Banning and censoring both foreign and local publications, as well as the beating of journalists covering demonstrations against him, continue under Suharto.
9.Burma's Senior Gen. Than Shwe. As chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, Shwe keeps tight control of the media with a barrage of laws restricting the flow of information. Writing or saying anything to "disrupt and deteriorate the stability of the state" brings a 20-year prison sentence; owning or using a fax machine or modem, 15 years.
10.Albania's President Sali Berisha. In March, Berisha muzzled the press during a state of emergency called to quell mass public protests over failed pyramid schemes. Berisha's secret police raided and torched the newsroom of the main opposition daily, Koha Jone. Attacks on journalists and seizure of publications continue.
?(E&P Web Site: http://www.mediainfo.com)
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher June 14, 1997)


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here