Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is deeply concerned about the safety of two European journalists and their American guide who were arrested last week by Laotian authorities: Thierry Falise, a Belgian free-lance photographer and reporter; Vincent Reynaud, a French free-lance photographer and cameraman; and Naw Karl Mua, a U.S. citizen of ethnic Hmong origin who was working with the two journalists as a guide and translator. Falise and Reynaud are well-regarded, professional journalists based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Journalists across Asia faced extraordinary pressures in 2001. Risks included reporting on war and insurgency, covering crime and corruption, or simply expressing a dissenting view in an authoritarian state.
CPJ's two most striking indices of press freedom are the annual toll of journalists killed around the world and our list of journalists imprisoned at the end of the calendar year. Asian countries registered disproportionately high on both counts--with more journalists killed in Afghanistan than in any other country, and China once again the world's leading jailer of journalists. Nepal, shockingly, took second place on the imprisoned list, with 17 journalists detained as of December 31, 2001, due to a sweeping crackdown on the Maoist insurgency that had severe implications for the press.
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Blog: Bob Dietz