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THe Nation: Top enemies of the pr
- Subject: THe Nation: Top enemies of the pr
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 02 May 1998 17:01:00
Top enemies of the press
THE Committee to Protect Journalists
(CPJ) has included leaders of Nigeria,
Burma, Belarus, Cuba and Indonesia in its
list of 10 ''Enemies of the Press'' published
The CPJ selected these countries for their
relentless campaign to suppress journalists
to mark World Press Freedom today.
Nigerian leader Gen Sani Abacha was
named enemy number one. Others named
were Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and China's
President Jiang Zemin. Leaders of Jordan,
Tunisia and Turkmenistan were included in
CPJ's annual ranking for the first time.
''All of these 10 individuals are intent upon
suppressing any independent media voice,
through whatever means necessary,'' said
William Orme Jr, executive director of the
New York-based press freedom group.
''They are collectively responsible for
unabated press freedom abuse that has
penalised hundreds of journalists through
physical attack, imprisonment, censorship,
harassment, and even murder.''
The top two enemies of the Asian Press in
-Burma's Senior General Than Shwe.
Than Shwe presides over the cosmetically
renamed State Peace and Development
Council. However, a junta is still a junta, and
this stifling regime has changed little since
the military seized power in 1988. Free
expression in Burma is seen as a
nightmare because fax machines,
photocopiers and modems are illegal.
There are no independent newspapers in
the country and foreign broadcasts are
frequently jammed. In this climate of
oppression, the Burmese are kept in the
dark even about the nature of their own
-Indonesia's President Suharto.
With Indonesia's economy in free fall,
Suharto continues to run roughshod over
the media to prevent open, independent
coverage of business and political news.
Journalists have been driven into hiding
after being arrested, harassed and
threatened by the military. Despite this
persecution, Indonesian journalists still
attempt to provide a broad coverage of
growing opposition to Suharto. However,
publications that once dared to report on
the Suharto clan's financial dealings have
been closed by state order. Meanwhile,
cronyism endures, exacerbating the
economic crisis and reporters fear that
digging deeply into the country's financial
troubles would cost them their jobs or even