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World: RFE/RL On Front Lines Of Press Freedom

RFI's Baghdad bureau was damaged by a bomb blast in November 2005 (RFE/RL) May 3, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Official harassment, threats, even death. Every day, journalists in the world's hotspots face risks and dangers while doing their jobs. And correspondents for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty are no exception.

Two were killed or died in the line of duty in the past 12 months, another was injured, and others have been arrested or harassed by authorities.

Iraq remains the most dangerous place in the world for journalists; more than 40 of them were killed there last year alone.

Last month, RFE/RL staff joined that grim list, when Radio Free Iraq correspondent Khamail Khalaf was found dead in Baghdad

Shut Down, Harassed, Threatened

Journalists with RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan have been threatened by the Taliban, and put under pressure from all sides.

A correspondent for the Turkmen Service, Ogulsapar Muradova, died in jail last year in unclear circumstances.

For several months now, RFE/RL has been asking the Iranian authorities to allow one of Radio Farda's correspondents to leave the country.

Parnaz Azima, who's also a well-known translator of books, had her passport confiscated when she traveled to Tehran in January. At one point, she was asked to cooperate with Iranian intelligence services:

And for the past year and a half the Uzbek Service has been without a bureau in Uzbekistan, after authorities shut down its operations there. Nosir Zokirov, a former correspondent, continued to face official harassment after his release from jail last year.

As nations mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, senior broadcasters from some of RFE/RL's language services have told of the challenges and dangers faced by their staff.

RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq
Sergei Danilochkin, director of RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq, discusses reporting from the country that is the most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist. more
RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan
RFA Director Akbar Ayazi discusses the perils of covering the conflict between the government and the Taliban. more
Radio Farda
Radio Farda correspondent Parnaz Azima has been unable to leave Iran since her passport was confiscated in January. more

RFE/RL's Turkmen Service
Oguljamal Yazliyeva, director of RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, discusses covering one of the world's most notoriously closed countries. more
RFE/RL's Uzbek Service
Khurmat Babadjanov, a broadcaster with RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, discusses the difficulties of reporting from post-Andijon Uzbekistan. more

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day
NOT REALLY SO FUNNY: The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers asked French cartoonist Michel Cambon to produce a series of cartoons on the theme of jailed journalists to mark World Press Freedom Day (May 3). Below, RFE/RL reproduces several of Cambon's cartoons.






Threats To Press Freedom Growing More Severe

CIS Press Freedom Suffers Continued Decline

Pressure Mounting On Russian Opposition, Media

Uzbek Government Increases Its Blocking Of News Websites


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