Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reporters Without Borders Name 40 Predators of Press Freedom

There are 40 names on the 2010 list of Predators of Press Freedom, as determined by Reporters Without Borders. The list includes politicians, government officials, religious leaders, militias, and criminal organisations that treat the press as an enemy and directly attack journalists. Many of this year's perpetrators were already on last year's list.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il and the head of Burma's military government Than Shwe are on the list. Iran's "president" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Libya dictator Muammar Gaddafi also made the list. Yemeni President Ali Abdulah Saleh has been added this year, as well as Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who has directly targeted journalists and news media 40 times in 2009 in a bloody war waged to control media coverage.

Reporters Without Borders also named Mexico as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. 62 journalists have been killed in Mexico in the last 10 years.

Reporters Without Borders has fought for press freedom on a daily basis since it was founded in 1985. In the past 15 years, access to information has cost the lives of more than 850 journalists. Reporters Without Borders defends journalists and media assistants imprisoned or persecuted for doing their job and exposes the mistreatment and torture of them in many countries. It fights against censorship and laws that undermine press freedom. The organization gives financial aid each year to 100 or so journalists or media outlets in difficulty (to pay for lawyers, medical care and equipment) as well to the families of imprisoned journalists. All the while working to improve the safety of journalists, especially those reporting in war zones.

Here is the full list of 40 press-hating perpetrators in alphabetical order. To learn more about each one, visit the Reporters Without Borders map.

Abdallah ibn Al-Saud - Saudi Arabia King
Alexander Lukashenko - Belarus
Ali Abdallah Saleh - Yemen
Ali Khamenei - Iran
Bashar Al-Assad - Syria
Choummaly Sayasone - Laos
ETA - Spain
Executive Force - Palestinian territories
FARC - Colombia
Gotabhaya Rajapakse - Sri Lanka
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov - Turkmenistan
Hu Jintao - China
Ilham Aliev - Azerbaijan
Islam Karimov - Uzbekistan
Islamist militias - Somalia
Israel Defence Forces - Israel
Issaias Afeworki - Eritrea
Kim Jong-il - North Korea
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Iran
Mswati III - Swaziland
Muammar Gaddafi - Libya
Mullah Mohammad Omar - Afghanistan
Nepalese armed groups - Nepal
Nong Duc Manh - Vietnam
Nursultan Nazarbayev - Kazakhstan
Ogbonna Onovo - Nigeria
Organised crime - Italy
Paul Kagame - Rwanda
Private militias - Philippines
Ramzan Kadyrov - Russia
Raúl Castro - Cuba
Robert Mugabe - Zimbabwe
Sinaloa, Gulf and Juárez Cartel - Mexico
Teodoro Obiang Nguema - Equatorial Guinea
Than Shwe - Burma
The Palestinian Authority's security forces - Palestinian territories
Vladimir Putin - Russia
Yahya Jammeh - Gambia
Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali - Tunisia President
'Black Eagles' - Colombia

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