Saturday, May 02, 2009

Sunday May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day

WP & Freedeom Day In 1991 the United Nations General Assembly established May 3rd as World Press Freedom Day. This year there have been a number if international incidents that underscore the fact that there are governments around the world that continue to suppress news journalists from doing their job.

Just since January there are a significant number of members of the press who have been assassinated and a larger number imprisoned throughout the world. Take a look at this list of news journalists who have paid the ultimate price for their work:

Assassinated journalists and media workers

  • Raja Assad Hameed (Pakistan)

    Reporter for the daily Nation and Waqt TV Channel

    Killed on 26 March 2009 in Pakistan

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Jawed Ahmad (Afghanistan)

    Reporter for the Canadian media, including CTV News.

    Killed on 10 March 2009 in Afghanistan

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Haider Hashim (Iraq)

    Correspondent for the private TV broadcaster Al-Baghdadia

    Killed on 10 March 2009 in Iraq

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Suhaib Adnan (Iraq)

    Cameraman for the private TV broadcaster Al-Baghdadia

    Killed on 10 March 2009 in Iraq

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Ernesto Rollin (Philippines)

    Journalist for local radio DxSY-AM

    Killed on 23 February 2009 in Philippines

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Jean Paul Ibarra Ramírez (Mexico)

    Photographer for El Correo newspaper

    Killed on 13 February 2009 in Mexico

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Ando Ratovonirina (Madagascar)

    Reporter for the privately-owned Radio et Télévision Analamanga (RTA).

    Killed on 7 February 2009 in Madagascar

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Said Tahlil Ahmed (Somalia)

    Director of Horn Afrik Radio/TV

    Killed on 4 February 2009 in Somalia

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Bruno Ossébi (Republic of Congo)

    Columnist for the online newspaper Mwinda

    Killed on 2 February 2009 in Republic of Congo

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Francis Nyaruri (Kenya)

    Journalist for the independent Weekly Citizen

    Killed on 29 January 2009 in Kenya

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Shafiq Amrakhov (Russian Federation)

    Owner and editor of the online regional news agency RIA 51

    Killed on 19 January 2009 in Russian Federation

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Anastasia Baburova (Russian Federation)

    Journalist for Novaya Gazeta

    Killed on 19 January 2009 in Russian Federation

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Orel Sambrano (Venezuela)

    Editor of a weekly magazine ABC

    Killed on 16 January 2009 in Venezuela

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Uma Singh (Nepal)

    Journalist for daily newspaper Janakpur Today and Radio Today FM

    Killed on 11 January 2009 in Nepal

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Lasantha Wickrematunga (Sri Lanka)

    Editor of the Sri Lankan newspaper Sunday Leader

    Killed on 8 January 2009 in Sri Lanka

    [UNESCO Statement]

  • Basel Faraj (Palestine)

    Cameraman for the Algerian TV network ENTV and for the Palestine Broadcast Production Company

    Killed on 6 January 2009 in Palestine

  • The Roxana Saberi Matter

    Roxana Saberi is a 31 year old journalist with joint U.S. and Iranian citizenship. She has been residing in Iran for six years where she's been studying for a masters degree in Iranian studies, and reporting for NPR, the BBC, ABC News and other international news organizations. Her plans were to return to the U.S. this year when she completed a book about Iranian culture she was writing.

    Saberi was arrested at the end of January initially for purchasing wine (alcohol is banned in Iran) then officials alleged she continued to work as a journalist after her credentials were revoked. This finally converted to charges of unspecified "espionage."

    On April 18th she was convicted and sentenced to 8 years of jail in a trial that was short of any international standards.

    If you do nothing else to mark this this Word Press Freedom Day, click on these two sites and add your voice to the call for Roxana Saberi to be freed.

    1. Amnesty International Site - send a letter to His Excellency -Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei asking for a fair and public review of the allegations against her and without any verifiable evidence otherwise, she be released.
    2. Go to the site set up by Roxana's parents for her. Leave a note of support on the guest book.

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