Sri Lanka ranked third in murders of journalists

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 16:49 GMT]
Press Emblem Campaign, an independent media watchdog based in Geneva, in a press release issued Monday said, Sri Lanka ranked third worldwide in number of journalists killed in 2007 in line of duty, behind Iraq and Somalia. "Sri Lanka ranks third, seven journalists killed this year against four last year due to the intensity of the civil war," the press release said.

Media freedom
(Cartoon: PEC)
PEC said, the total number of journalists killed this year is an unacceptable figure of 110, compared to 96 in 2006, and 68 in 2005.

Secretary-General of PEC, Blaise Lempen, strongly condemned the acts of violence against journalists and noted that "the increase in the number of victims among journalists is directly linked to the coverage of major conflict marked by grave human rights violations of major dimensions."

PEC said it has launched a global campaign on a draft international convention for the protection of journalists in conflict zones, civil unrest and other situations.

PEC President Hedayat Nabi said that the draft convention "could be the basis of improved national legislation and could expand to include other matters like wage, insurance and housing rights. Those are issues, she added, that gravely affect the human security of freelance journalists and are real issues in developing countries.

“When ratified, the draft Convention, shall stand as a tribute to all journalists and media workers under attack, who are directly or indirectly targeted, and are part of the news for sometime then forgotten,” Nabi added.

Dharmaretnam Sivaram, a senior editorial member at TamilNet, was abducted and killed by suspected Colombo-backed paramilitaries, and his body left inside High Security Zone (HSZ) on 28 April 2005. Executive Director of Committee for Protection of Journalists, a New York based media watchdog said in a press release after the murder of Sivaram,“This audacious and brutal crime is an attack on free speech in Sri Lanka."

Related Articles:
29.04.05   CPJ condemns ‘brazen abduction and execution’
29.04.05   RSF ‘revolted’ at Sivaram’s murder

External Links:
HR: A record year for media casualty
PEC: A Record Year Never Witnessed Before


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