Source: Agence France Presse


A record 182 journalists were jailed last year in 22 countries, an increase blamed on crackdowns on the press in Nigeria and Ethiopia, a report said Thursday.

Turkey and Ethiopian topped the list but China, Vietnam, and Burma also held a large number of journalists last year, according to the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

The worldwide total in 1995 eclipsed the previous record set in 1994 -- 173 at year's end, the report said.

The New York-based group reported the increase was mainly attributable "to the recent crackdown on independent journalism in Ethiopia and Nigeria."

"For the second consecutive year, Turkey held more journalists in jail (51) than any other country as the government continued to suppress independent reporting on the Kurdish conflict," the report said.

"Turkey surpasses such totalitarian regimes as China and Syria in its willingness to throw journalists in jail," CPJ chairwoman Kati Marton said.

The group called on Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz "to release Turkey's imprisoned journalists and rescind the laws used to punish and censor the local press."

The four countries with the highest number of imprisoned journalists were: Turkey at 51, Ethiopia at 31, China at 20, and Kuwait at 18, the group reported. Vietnam, Peru, Burma and Nigeria each held eight in jail; Syria held six; Indonesia and Algeria four; and three in Zaire.

CPJ also reported 51 journalists died in the line of duty last year. Of that sum, 45 were homicides and six were casualties in combat zones.

"For the second consecutive year, Algeria was the most deadly country for journalists -- 24 were murdered in 1995 by rebel terrorists who have been waging a campaign of death against members of the media since May 1993. To date, more than 50 Algerian journalists have been assassinated," the report said.

The CPJ said it has confirmed that 456 journalists were killed between 1986 and 1995 as a direct result of their profession.

"Most were murdered. The countries with the highest death tolls were Algeria, the former Yugoslavia, Colombia, Tajikistan and the Philippines," the report said. In Asia, the group said that Taiwan and South Korea both showed notable press freedom gains in 1995.

However, press freedom "deteriorated alarmingly in Pakistan."

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Subject: Newspaper editor receives 18-month prison sentence

Source: Ethiopian TV, Addis Ababa 7 Mar 96

The Central High Court yesterday sentenced the editor- in-chief of Welfen', a private Amharic newspaper, to 18 months imprisonment for publishing and disseminating mendacious reports inciting war and unrest. According to ENA Ethiopian News Agency , the second bench of the Central High Court passed the verdict on Solomon Lema Gemechu after it found him guilty of repeatedly printing and disseminating warmongering reports contravening the country's press law.