Europe & Central Asia


Attacks on the Press   |   Algeria, Colombia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen

Attacks on the Press 2004: Middle East and North Africa Analysis

By Joel Campagna

The conflict in Iraq led to a harrowing number of press attacks in 2004, with local journalists and media support workers primarily in the line of fire. Twenty-three journalists and 16 support staff—drivers, interpreters, fixers, and guards—were killed while on the job in Iraq in 2004. In all, 36 journalists and 18 support workers died from the beginning of hostilities in March 2003 to the end of 2004, making the conflict in Iraq one of the most dangerous for journalists in recent history. Only conflicts in Algeria, Colombia, the Balkans, and the Philippines have resulted in similarly high numbers of journalists killed since CPJ was founded in 1981.
March 14, 2005 11:53 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Albania

Attacks on the Press 2004: Albania


Prime Minister Fatos Nano and his socialist government continued to pressure independent and opposition media in 2004, using criminal and civil defamation complaints as a stick and politically motivated state advertising as a carrot.
March 14, 2005 11:46 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Armenia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Armenia


The Armenian government failed to protect journalists during violent demonstrations in April against President Robert Kocharian. In some cases, authorities were directly involved in attacks on the press.
March 14, 2005 11:45 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Azerbaijan

Attacks on the Press 2004: Azerbaijan


The massive protests that erupted in October 2003 over the election of President Ilham Aliyev continued to have repercussions in 2004. Following the lead of his father, Heydar, who died in December 2003, Aliyev intensified pressure on independent and opposition media and used the country's harsh criminal and civil codes to stifle criticism.
March 14, 2005 11:45 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press 2004: Belarus


President Aleksandr Lukashenko strangled the country's independent and opposition media in the months before deeply flawed October elections that returned his supporters to Parliament. The obedient state media flooded the capital, Minsk, and the countryside with pro-Lukashenko propaganda, vilifying opposition leaders and urging voters to support the president or face Western domination and political instability. The October vote also ratified a constitutional amendment enabling the president to seek a third term.
March 14, 2005 11:43 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Bosnia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Bosnia-Herzegovina


Journalists in both of the autonomous regions that comprise Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and the Croat-Muslim Federation, continue to work in a complex environment marred by widespread corruption and organized crime, weak government institutions, economic underdevelopment, and poor access to government information. Journalists commonly practice self-censorship to avoid pressure or harassment from nationalist politicians, government officials, and businessmen who use advertising revenue, threats, and occasionally violent attacks to ensure positive coverage.
March 14, 2005 11:42 AM ET

France, Switzerland

Attacks on the Press 2004: Central Africa Republic

Central Africa Republic

President François Bozizé's government imprisoned two prominent publication directors and harassed many other journalists as initial optimism that he would enact reforms gave way to the reality of civil strife and a bleak economy. Bozizé took power in this mineral-rich but chronically unstable nation after toppling former President Ange-Félix Patassé in a March 2003 coup. As the country prepared for legislative and presidential elections in early 2005, the press faced increasing intolerance from the government.
March 14, 2005 11:39 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Croatia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Croatia


After returning to power in 2003, the nationalist Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), tried to reassure voters and the international community that it had moved beyond the repressive right-wing policies that marked its ironfisted rule during the 1990s. Senior HDZ officials reasserted influence over state media but kept a looser hold on independent journalists as Croatia bids to join the European Union in 2007.
March 14, 2005 11:37 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Georgia

Attacks on the Press 2004: Georgia


Many in the news media had high hopes that this South Caucasus nation would pursue a path of greater press freedom due to the instrumental role that journalists played in the "Rose Revolution," which swept President Eduard Shevardnadze and his corruption-riddled Cabinet out of office in November 2003. The independent television station Rustavi-2 was particularly important, broadcasting opposition protests and giving airtime to government critics.
March 14, 2005 11:32 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   France, South Africa

Attacks on the Press 2004: Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast

Although legislation passed at the end of 2004 eliminated criminal penalties for most press offenses, journalists in Ivory Coast face much more immediate and dangerous threats, including harassment and violence, amid the political tension and uncertainty that have engulfed the country since civil war began in 2002. Serious attacks on the press have occurred in both the government-controlled south and the rebel-held north.
March 14, 2005 11:27 AM ET



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