CJFE Condemns Killing of Two Journalists

Thursday, March 20, 2003
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) mourns the violent deaths this week of two journalists at opposite ends of the world, bringing to five the number of such killings around the world so far this year. "We call on the governments of Ivory Coast and Colombia to do all in their power to bring the murderers to justice," CJFE Executive Director Joel Ruimy said. "Journalists must be free to do their jobs without fear of physical violence." The International Red Cross confirmed yesterday that a body found in the western Ivory Coast region of Toulepleu was that of Kloueu Gonzreu, a correspondent with the state-owned Agence ivoirienne de presse, missing since January 11. The 51-year-old journalist, who also worked for the local Red Cross, had come under attack in at least one pro-government newspaper, which said he had written favourably about the rebels in the country's civil conflict. Three other bodies were recovered, including that of Gonzreu's 19-year-old son, Thierry, and two other Red Cross workers. And in Colombia, a radio host and freelance reporter for the country's most widely-read daily newspaper was gunned down Tuesday in Arauca, near the border with Venezuela. Luis Eduardo Alfonso Parada had received threats from members of a right-wing paramilitary group for his reportage on the four-decade conflict between leftist rebels, paramilitaries and the government. Two men were waiting for the 33-year-old Alfonso just before 5 a.m. Tuesday as he arrived for work at Radio Meridiano-70. They fired and fled on a motorcycle. The other journalists murdered so far this year are: -- Oscar Salazar Jaramillo, Colombia, March 10 -- Surapong Ritthi, Thailand, February 11 -- Parvaz Mohammed Sultan, India, January 31 CJFE is an association of more than 400 journalists, editors, publishers, producers, students and others committed to preserving press freedom and freedom of expression in Canada and around the world. For more information, contact Joel Ruimy at (416) 515-9622 e-mail: cjfe@cjfe.org

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