Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora

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Guide for reporting in hazardous situations.
By Ann Cooper

IN THE COMMUNITY OF JOURNALISTS WHO HAVE CHRONICLED the past decade's worst wars, the news last May was devastating. Two of the world's most dedicated war correspondents, Kurt Schork of Reuters and Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora of The Associated Press, were killed in a rebel ambush in Sierra Leone, a country where civil strife has claimed the lives of 15 local journalists and foreign correspondents since 1997. The haunting image on the cover of this book is Gil Moreno, whose camera took television viewers into the bloody heart of late 20th century conflict.
SIERRA LEONE REMAINS THE MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRY IN AFRICA for journalists. In 2000, Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels killed three reporters, bringing to 15 the total number of journalists killed in the war-plagued West African nation since 1997. The RUF alone is responsible for 13 of those deaths.

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, CPJ placed RUF leader Foday Sankoh at the top of its annual list of the "Ten Worst Enemies of the Press." At the time, Sankoh was still a member of the government under a United Nations-brokered peace agreement, which made him chairman of the Management of Strategic Mineral Resources Committee.

New York, January 4, 2001 --- Of the 24 journalists killed for their work in 2000, according to CPJ research, at least 16 were murdered, most of those in countries where assassins have learned they can kill journalists with impunity.

This figure is down from 1999, when CPJ found that 34 journalists were killed for their work, 10 of them in war-torn Sierra Leone.

In announcing the organization's annual accounting of journalists who lost their lives because of their work, CPJ executive director Ann Cooper noted that while most of the deaths occurred in countries experiencing war or civil strife, "The majority did not die in crossfire. They were very deliberately targeted for elimination because of their reporting." Others whose deaths were documented by CPJ appear to have been singled out while covering demonstrations, or were caught in military actions or ambushes while on assignment.


Click here to read more about press freedom conditions in SIERRA LEONE

New York, May 24, 2000 --- The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by the latest murderous attack on journalists in Sierra Leone, which claimed the lives of two western journalists and left two others injured on Wednesday, according to news agencies and CPJ's sources in Freetown.

ReutersKurt Schork, veteran Reuters coresspondent, and Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora, Associated Press cameraman, were killed in an ambush by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

Schork, 53, and Moreno de Mora, 32, were traveling in two vehicles with soldiers from the Sierra Leone Army (SLA) when RUF forces opened fire on them east of Rogberi Junction, some 54 miles from the capital, Freetown. The ambush took place in an area that had recently been the scene of fierce fighting between rebels and pro-government forces.

Four SLA soldiers were also killed in the incident, while two other Reuters journalists, cameraman Mark Chisholm and photographer Yannis Behrakis, were wounded. Chisholm and Behrakis received first-aid treatment at a local hospital run by United Nations peacekeepers before they were evacuated to Indian Field Hospital in Freetown, where they were treated for minor injuries.

APKurt Schork, veteran Reuters coresspondent, and Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora, Associated Press cameraman, were killed in an ambush by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

Schork, 53, and Moreno de Mora, 32, were traveling in two vehicles with soldiers from the Sierra Leone Army (SLA) when RUF forces opened fire on them east of Rogberi Junction, some 54 miles from the capital, Freetown. The ambush took place in an area that had recently been the scene of fierce fighting between rebels and pro-government forces.

Four SLA soldiers were also killed in the incident, while two other Reuters journalists, cameraman Mark Chisholm and photographer Yannis Behrakis, were wounded. Chisholm and Behrakis received first-aid treatment at a local hospital run by United Nations peacekeepers before they were evacuated to Indian Field Hospital in Freetown, where they were treated for minor injuries.

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