VIENNA, May 8, 2008 (AFP) – Ninety-three journalists were killed in 2007, almost half of them in Iraq, the International Press Institute media watchdog said in its annual press freedom review published Thursday. The figure was the second highest in a decade after 2006, which saw 100 journalists’ deaths, according to IPI figures.
Forty-two journalists died in Iraq during 2007, while Asia was the second deadliest region, with 19 reporters killed, mostly in Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, the IPI said in a statement.
It also noted “the first targeted assassination of a journalist since 1993” in the United States, with the killing of a newspaper editor in Oakland, California.
IPI Director David Dadge added that the murder by a Turkish nationalist of renowned journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul in January 2007 “reinforces… the bravery of journalists everywhere who challenge censorship.”
Restrictions on press freedom were still widespread in Africa and the Middle East, the watchdog said, citing especially Iran and Zimbabwe, where hard-to-obtain licences are required to work as a journalist.
“Censorship (in Africa) came in all forms, from physical aggression to the subtle