Friday, February 15, 2013

Reporters Without Borders : At least 28 radio journalists in jail, 18 killed since start of 2012

On World Radio Day today, Reporters Without Borders regrets that at least 28 radio journalists are currently imprisoned and that 18 have been killed in the past 13 months, since the start of January 2012.

“We express our support for the 28 radio journalists currently in prison, including Mam Sonando in Cambodia, Hassan Ruvakuki in Burundi and Nestor Pasquini in Argentina, and our thoughts are with embattled radio stations that are targeted by the enemies of freedom of information, such as Radio Shabelle in Somalia, community radio in northern Mali and Latin America, and the most exposed stations in the Philippines,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

“At a time when video and new media get more and more attention, World Radio Day is an occasion to recall that traditional media still play a key role in providing news and information to people in many parts of the world, especially rural and remote areas.”

“Radio reporters are often exposed to great danger and sometimes risk their freedom or their life. We pay tribute to their courage and dedication."

The countries where radio journalists are currently in prison are Eritrea (21), Somalia (1), Argentina (1), Uzbekistan (1), Turkey (1), Burundi (1), Cambodia (1) and Vietnam (1).

Since 1 January 2012, radio journalists have been killed in connection with their work in Somalia (9), Philippines (4), Pakistan (1), Paraguay (1), Brazil (1), Central African Republic (1) and Tanzania (1). Radio journalists have also been killed in other countries such as Honduras and Afghanistan without a clear link to their work being established each time.

Radio still has a big impact in Africa because of its oral tradition and because stations are well equipped, and Africa is the continent with the most cases of harassment and violence against radio stations. The persecution of stations by armed Islamists in countries such as Mali and Somalia is the most dramatic example.

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