The international organization of journalists Reporters Without Borders published a list of those countries, where assassinations of journalists took place in 2001. Ukraine has been mentioned for the second time on the list together with Northern Ireland, Kosovo and the Basque country. A tragic death of journalist Igor Alexandrov is meant this time.
The whole report of the organization over 2001 reveals worsening of the situation with the freedom of speech all over the world. Most statistic researches state, the year of 2001 has been worse than the previous one.
Here are the results of the Reporters Without Borders’ report:
assassinated journalists – 31 (2001) and 32 (2000);
detained journalists – 489 (2001) and 329 (2000);
threats and violence to journalists – 716 (2001) and 510 (2000);
censorship was fixed in 378 cases (2001) and 295 (2000);
imprisoned journalists – 110 (as of January 2, 2002) and 77 (as of January 4, 2001).
The statistics reveals, the number of arrested journalists gained 50% within the year, the number of victims of threats and violence gained 40% over the same period.
The organization informs, for the first time the freedom of mass media worsened in the countries with settled democracy in 2001. Such are the consequences of the Sept. 11 terror acts and the following anti-terror operation for mass media of the USA, Canada and Great Britain.
Most countries toughened control over activity of foreign journalists (China, Saudi Arabia, Burma, North Korea and Vietnam).
Another dangerous tendency that takes place in most countries is impunity of crimes towards journalists. All investigations of such crimes result in nothing in most cases, the principals of the assassinations remain unpunished.
Low activity of Ukraine’s General Office of the Public Prosecutor and the Internal Ministry in investigation of the assassination of journalist Georgy Gongadze made the Council of Europe organize an independent investigation with participation of foreign experts. Before the end of 2001 Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders Robert Menard asked Chairman of Ukraine’s Supreme Court Vitaly Boyko to control the assassination of journalist Igor Alexandrov personally. Hearing of the case is scheduled for September 11, 2002, but Mr.Menard thinks that the sensational assassination is to be studied before any other criminal cases.
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/04/35347.html