Brussels/Paris - A journalist has been killed every five days on
average so far this year, the Reporters Without Borders (RWB)
organisation warned on Thursday, as countries around the world marked
World Press Freedom Day.
"Reporters Without Borders condemns the
furious pace of physical attacks on news providers," the group said in a
statement. "With crackdowns on protest in Arab countries, and
suppression of political opposition, criticism and reporting in other
parts of the world, the first four months of 2012 were especially
The trend continued on Thursday, with reports from Somalia that a radio journalist had been killed there.
Tunisia, meanwhile, the media was in the spotlight after the head of a
television station was fined for broadcasting the award-winning animated
film Persepolis, with a court finding him guilty of blasphemy because the movie depicted a God figure.
case was seen as a test for press freedom in Tunisia, which was the
first Arab country to oust a dictator through popular protests last
The Arab Spring protest wave has swept aside many leaders
whom Reporters Without Borders had branded as "predators of the freedom
to inform." But the group warned it still counts 41 others, with Egypt's
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces among the new additions.
"The Arab springs have fallen far short of keeping all their promises and we must remain on our guard," it said.
country in the region, Syria, was this week rated as one of the world's
most censored countries by the Committee to Protect Journalists, behind
Eritrea and North Korea.
Although it scores far better on media
rights, Europe must also remain vigilant on the issue, European
Parliament President Martin Schulz warned.
press freedom in our external actions, we must be intransigent in
upholding the highest standards at home - always repudiating political
control of the media sector, media monopolies and all forms of
intimidation against journalists," he said.