An international media advocacy group issued a report Saturday that said 41 journalists around the world were killed or vanished while doing their jobs last year, while 200 were thrown in jail.
The Reporters Sans Frontieres, or Reporters Without Borders, declared April 20 International Day of Press Freedom, and called upon every media outfit in France to "adopt" a jailed journalist and carry on his or her work."We want to make the public aware just how many journalists have been thrown into prison," said Nadia Benlakhel, a spokeswoman for the Paris-based group.
The group's 1990 report was published Saturday. It said 41 newsmen and newswomen were killed or "disappeared" while doing their jobs during the year.
Seven died in the Philippines, most of them critics of authorities and murdered by unknown, armed men. Five were killed in Colombia; the victims of the drug war. Four died in Pakistan, three in India, two in South Africa.
Radio and television stations across France broadcast reports Saturday about the 200-plus journalists jailed around the globe last year, trumpeting the slogan, "There's no such thing as freedom without a free press."
In Iran, 41 journalists were put behind bars and little information can be obtained about the conditions of detention.
In Israel, 33 reporters were imprisoned, almost all accused of being pro-Palestinian.
China has rounded up 31, insisting they're "counter-revolutionaries. " Reporters Sans Frontieres says their real crime was simply writing or broadcasting about the events in Tiananmen Square.
"We've asked all (French) newspapers, magazines, radios and TV stations to sponsor one of the 200-plus jailed reporters in the world today," Benlakhel said. "They'll present the story of how he or she came to be arrested and locked up."