Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat was assassinated in Samarra in February (AFP)
May 31, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Global press leaders have expressed alarm about the death toll for reporters covering conflicts worldwide and have urged governments to bring those responsible to justice.
The call was issued on May 30 at the International Press Institute’s (IPI) annual congress in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.
Rodney Pinder, the head of the IPI's International News Safety Institute, told RFE/RL that journalists in Iraq have become an increasingly frequent target for insurgents.
"Violence is coming from all sides, and I think particularly for journalists, the insurgents who are killing journalists -- and they are responsible for most of the deaths -- they just don’t have any sympathy with journalists," Pinder said. "They don’t want any reporting at all; and the idea of free media, free speech, free reporting, is completely anathema to them. And thus journalists of all kinds have become a target."
Iraq remains the most dangerous place for reporters, with some 23 journalists killed there last year.
(with material from AFP)