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Group Reports 26 Journalists Died in Line of Duty in 1988

March 17, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Reporters doing the day-to-day jobs of covering crime and corruption risk their lives just every bit as much as war correspondents, according to the director of a worldwide survey of attacks on the media.

The worldwide survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists found that 26 journalists were killed and at least one disappeared in the line of duty last year. The group was founded in 1981 by a group of U.S. reporters and editors.

Overall, the group documented some 800 incidents of threats, killings, injuries or other harassment of journalists last year, executive director Anne Nelson said Thursday at a National Press Club briefing.

″If you look at the world of journalism, there are people around the world who are not just threatened, but who have been killed,″ she said.

The Philippines appears to have become the most dangerous workplace for local reporters, said Ms. Nelson, with five deaths last year.

War-torn Afghanistan was also listed among the most dangerous locations with four deaths.

Mexico and Colombia, where drug lords operate, each recorded four fatalities among journalists last year, she said.

Here is a list of journalists killed, or who disappeared, in the line of duty last year, as listed in the committee’s annual report:

Afghanistan:

-Aleksandr Sekretarev, photographer for the Soviet newspaper Izvestia, killed in a rebel ambush of Soviet troops.

-Irshad Ahmed, correspondent for the Pakistani newspaper The Muslim, killed when troops fired on a group of rebels he was with.

-Astrid Morken, Norwegian free-lance writer, killed by a land mine.

-Nao Ko Nanjo, free-lance Japanese photographer, killed by a land mine.

Algeria:

-Sid Ali Benmechiche, reporter for the Algerian News Agency, killed during a confrontation between troops and protesters in Algiers.

Brazil:

-Antonio Ismar Alvarenga, correspondent for Folha do Para, killed by gunmen after writing a series of articles about large landowners in the northeast of the country.

-Luis Otavio Monteiro, reporter for Amazonas em Tempo, shot to death while investigating death squads and black-market trafficking.

Colombia:

-Belisario Zambrano Roa, radio reporter in Cali who covered police issues, shot to death.

-Rodrigo Velez Toscano, correspondent for El Pais in Cali, shot to death.

-Alfonso Meneses, radio journalist for Granada-based station and activist in liberal party, shot to death.

-Oswaldo Regino Perez, correspondent for El Universal of Cartagena who had covered drug issues and a peasant massacre, shot to death.

Ethiopia:

-Viggo Gilberg, Norwegian reporter for Fredrickstad Blad, killed during fighting between government forces and rebels.

Honduras:

-Miguel Angel Pavon, columnist for Tiempo and member of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, killed.

India:

-Umesh Dobhal, who wrote an expose of the illegal liquor business for the Amar Ujala newspaper, disappeared.

-Parduman Singh, reporter for the Press Trust of India, shot to death.

Mexico:

-Manuel Burgueno Orduno, columnist who frequently wrote about drugs and crime for Sol del Pacifico, killed by gunmen.

-Hector Felix Miranda, a critic of government officials who wrote for Zeta in Tijuana, slain by gunmen.

-Ronay Gonzalez Reyes, editor of El Mundo in Chiapas, shot to death in his office.

-Linda Bejarano, anchor for XHIJ-TV in Ciudad Juarez, shot to death.

Pakistan:

-Syed B. Majrooh, publisher of the Afghan Information Bulletin who had been critical of some factions in the war in Afghanistan, killed by gunmen at his home.

Peru:

-Hugo Bustios, Huanta correspondent for the weekly Caretas, killed by gunmen.

Philippines:

-Ricardo Ribano, reporter for People’s Journal, killed, allegedly by a member of an anti-communist group.

-Oscar Apolinario, reporter for the weekly San Francisco Times, slain on the balcony of his home.

-Ruben Manrique, publisher of Luzon Tribune who had reported on illegal gambling, shot to death.

-Josef Aldeguer Nava, editor of Visayan Life Today, who had reported on corruption and human rights abuses by the military, shot to death.

-Noli Resurreccion, who had reported on illegal gambling for Balita newspaper in Manila and radio DZMM, killed.

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