Wednesday, May 2, 2018

'Free media' week killings - but don't forget crimes against Papuans

"Save Papuan Journalists" - a theme poster from last year's May 3 World Press Freedom Day event in Jakarta, Indonesia.
West Papuan media freedom issues tend to be "lost" in the standard press freedom reports on Indonesia.
Image: David Robie/Pacific Media Centre
By David Robie

MONDAY – just three days before today’s World Press Freedom Day – was the deadliest day for news media in Afghanistan in 17 years. The killing of nine journalists and media workers among 26 people who died in dual suicide bomb attacks in Kabul was the worst day for the press since the fall of the Taliban.

Five other journalists were wounded and a 10th journalist was shot and killed in a separate attack outside the capital.

Among the dead was Agence France-Presse chief photographer Shah Marai who left behind an extraordinary legacy of images.

READ MORE: Hatred of journalism threatens democracies

It was the also the most horrendous day for global media since the Ampatuan massacre on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao on 23 November 2009. A shocking 32 journalists were murdered that day, most of the total death toll of 58 in an ambush on a pre-election cavalcade.

To date nobody has been successfully brought to justice. The scores of private militia “owned” by the Ampatuan family alleged to have carried out the killings have got away with their vile crime almost scot-free.

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