Press freedom body names five new ‘predators’

PARIS, May 2 (AFP) – Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF) is to mark international press freedom day Wednesday by naming five new “predators on the freedom of the press” to add to the 32 it has already identified. The names, made available Tuesday, are those of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, armed Tamil groups in Sri Lanka, the head of the Colombian paramilitaries Diego Fernanado Murillo Bejarano, and his opposite number with the rebel FARC movement, Raul Reyes.

Already on the list, first drawn up by the French press freedoms watchdog in 2001, are Cuban President Fidel Castro and his Chinese, North Korean, Libyan, Russian and Syrian counterparts Hu Jintao, Kim Jong-il, Moamer Kadhafi, Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad. “Be they president, minister, king, supreme guide, guerrilla leader or head of a criminal organisation, these predators on the freedom of the press have the power to have journalists imprisoned, kidnapped, tortured and sometimes murdered,” RSF said.