Sri Lanka deadliest place for journalists after Iraq and Somalia: CPJ

NEW YORK, Dec 18, 2007 (AFP) – Sixty-four journalists were killed on assignment in 2007, making it the deadliest year for reporters since 1994, the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report published Tuesday. One of the most widely reported media deaths of 2007 was that of Japanese video journalist Kenji Nagai, filmed apparently being shot by troops in Myanmar in September during a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.

Iraq remained the deadliest place for journalists for the fifth straight year, with 31 media workers — all but one of them Iraqi — killed there in the last year, 24 of them in targeted killings, the organization said.

Besides Iraq, five reporters were killed in Pakistan, seven in Somalia and five in Sri Lanka, it added.

The committee said it had recorded a higher death toll among media staffers only in 1994, when conflicts were raging in Bosnia, Rwanda and Algeria and when 66 journalists were killed. Fifty-six reporters were killed in 2006.

“Working as a journalist in Iraq remains one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet,” said the committee’s executive director, Joel Simon. “Members of the press are being hunted down and murdered with alarming regularity.