Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Phillippines: Second Most Deadliest Place
On Earth for Journalists

The Japan Times reports that " according to the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists, the Phillippines has become the second most deadly place for journalists after war-torn Iraq." 13 Filipino journalists were killed last year and in 4 media journalist have been killed so far this year.

Confronted with what they perceive as a wave of targeted killings, Philippine journalists are infuriated. But the angry commentaries that are published in the wake of each killing have had little practical impact.

The fact that journalists are violently killed -- often in broad daylight -- is outrageous but the scandal does not stop there. Equally appalling is the fact that none of the murders have been solved in the sense that the perpetrators have been convicted and put behind bars.


In recent months, the killings of journalists have spread to members of other groups with a political impact. The Philippine Commission on Human Rights has expressed alarm over what it terms the "seemingly systematic" assault on left-leaning activists. Since the beginning of the year at least 20 members of leftist groups have been gunned down in different parts of the country by armed men with alleged links with the military. The fact that in these cases, as well, the perpetrators have not been brought to justice is particularly unsettling.

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