In Lybia
Lybian journalist Dhayf al-Ghazal critical of al-Qadhafi (Kaddafi) tortured and killed.
Al-Ghazal was a  contributor to al-Zahf al-Akhdar (the Green March).

In a press statement, al-Raqib had said it held the Libyan government responsible for al-Ghazal’s
disappearance, for it was well known that he had received several death threats.

The organisation said al-Qadhafi’s government often silenced journalists it considered a nuisance.

more below the fold.
More on Lybia

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s change of line in 2004 brought Libya a lifting of economic sanctions, rapid reintegration into the international community and a stream of top level foreign visitors. However human rights were still utterly disregarded and freedom of the press completely gagged by the “brother leader”.

Col. Gaddafi’s efforts over a number of years to improve his image and return Libya to the international fold largely paid off in 2004. The former pariah state’s rehabilitation has been going well, helped by Western oil companies tempted by investment opportunities in Libyan oil, “one of the best and cheapest to produce in the world,” according to industry specialists.

And this is one of Bush’s success stories?! As long as the oil flows from Lybia, what does it matter that reporters are tortured and murdered and human rights violations are rampant.

In Lebanon

3 June 2005 – Samir Kassir was killed when his car blew up today in Beirut. A writer and historian with both French and Lebanese citizenship, Kassir had been criticising Syria in his columns for the An-Nahar daily newspaper for the past ten years. “The French authorities and the UN commission investigating the assassination of Rafik Hariri should pay particular attention to this new act of terrorism, said Reporters Without Borders. The organisation pledges to remain mobilised until justice has been done.

In Iraq

Florence Aubenas, 43,
2 June – 14:49 : Sheikh Fadlallah calls for Florence’s release
After meeting a Reporters Without Borders delegation led by the organisation’s secretary-general, Robert Ménard, leading Shiite cleric Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah issues a statement calling for Florence Aubenas’s release. “As a Muslim, I energetically condemn the kidnapping of the journalist Florence Aubenas, which I consider to be a barbaric crime because it attacks a profession with the duty to inform,” Fadlallah said. The statement added : “These kidnappings also harm the image of Islam and the Iraqis, by presenting them as barbaric people.” Florence and her Iraqi guide, Hussein Hanoun, are today spending their 148th day in captivity.

Florence Aubenas was kidnapped with her interpreter, Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi in Baghdad, January 5, 2005. Iraq is very dangerous for reporters, 58 journalists and media assistants killed since the start of fighting in Iraq in March 2003, two still missing.

Update [2005-6-6 13:1:26 by sybil]:From a Washington Post article.

[…]At least 85 journalists and other employees of news organizations — the vast majority of them Iraqis — have been killed here since March 2003, according to the International Federation of Journalists, which opened an office in Baghdad in April to distribute safety information.[…]

“At the moment, things in Iraq are about as bad as it gets for journalists, and it is hardest for Iraqi journalists,” said Robert Shaw, human rights and information officer for the International Federation of Journalists. “When Western media send their people in, they look seriously at questions of insurance, training for hazardous conditions and specialized equipment. But very few Iraqi reporters have these protections. And when they die, families get nothing because their employers don’t have sufficient resources.”

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