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  Media
IFJ annual report
2005 A Record Year for Loss in Journalism
2005 Most Dangerous Year for Asia-Pacific Journalists
Mr. Christopher Warren, president of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

2005 proved to be the most dangerous year on record for journalists working not only in the Asia-Pacific region but also worldwide, according to the International Federation of Journalists' (IFJ) annual report into the killing of media staff.

"2005 was a year of tragedy and the targeting of journalists in the Asia-Pacific region, " said IFJ President Christopher Warren.

Of the grim total of 150 journalists and media workers killed in 2005, some 36 were from the Asia-Pacific region.

The Philippines once again earned its place the most dangerous Asia-Pacific country for journalists to work in with 10 killings, second only to war-torn Iraq where 35 media workers were killed. While almost all of their killers of the Philippines journalists continue escape any form of justice.

Once more, South Asia is the most dangerous region within the Asia-Pacific, with journalists being killed in Afghanistan (2), Bangladesh (3), India (3), Pakistan (6), Sri Lanka (4) and Nepal (2).

The massive earthquake that struck South Asia was responsible for the deaths of three journalists.

Worldwide, some 61 journalists and media workers were killed when disaster struck while on assignment — 48 of them alone in a Tehran plane crash where questions are being asked about the safety of the military aircraft in which they were travelling.

But disturbingly, the IFJ report says that around 89 journalists and media people were killed "in the line of duty" — many assassinated by ruthless killers working for political gangs or criminals.

The report says more than 90 percent of these cases do not result in serious investigations by authorities with only a handful of the killers are ever brought to trial. A combination of police corruption, judicial incompetence and political indifference creates a culture of neglect when it comes to media deaths, says the IFJ.

"Impunity in the killing of journalists remains the intolerable scandal of our times that can no longer be ignored by the international community," said IFJ general secretary Aidan White.

The IFJ has called for action by the United Nations Security Council and has pressed Secretary General Kofi Annan to mobilise governments to act against the targeting and killing of journalists.

The IFJ report this year includes information on the IFJ's solidarity and assistance program, the IFJ Safety Fund. 100,000 Euro was raised during a special appeal at the beginning of 2005 in response to the Tsunami disaster in 2004 in which around 89 journalists and media staff were reported dead or missing.

In addition the fund made payments to the families and victims of killings in more than 25 countries as well as to victims of the Pakistan earthquake disaster in which three journalists died.

The IFJ has created a special disaster relief fund in the name of former IFJ Senior Vice President and Chair of the European Federation of Journalists, Gustl Glattfelder who died last year.

For more information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in over 110 countries worldwide.




 

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