A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Journalists killed in 2003

By Quill

Research by the Committee to Protect Journalists indicates that thefollowing individuals have been killed in 2003 because of their work asjournalists. They either died in the line of duty or were deliberatelytargeted for assassination because of their reporting or theiraffiliation with a news organization.



Nicanor Linhares Batista, Rádio Vale doJaguaribe, June 30, 2003, Limoeiro do Norte Nicanor, radio host andowner of Rádio Vale do Jaguaribe, based in the city of Limoeiro do Nortein the northeastern state of Ceará, was killed by at least twounidentified gunmen while he was recording his daily show “EncontroPolítico” (Political Encounter) at his station’s studios. O Povo, adaily in the city of Fortaleza, reported that “Encontro Político” wasone of the most popular radio shows in the region. According to O Povo,Nicanor was considered a controversial journalist whose hard-hittingcommentaries had angered many local politicians and public officials.According to the news agency Agência Nordeste, police said thatNicanor’s murder may have been a contract killing, and that thejournalist had many enemies because of the critical reports that airedon his station.

Luiz Antônio da Costa, época, July 23, 2003, São Bernardo doCampo Da Costa, a photographer with the weekly época, was killed whileon assignment in the city of São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo State. The36-year-old photographer, who was known professionally as La Costa, andépoca reporter Alexandre Mansur were covering the occupation by homelessfamilies of an empty lot belonging to a Volkswagen auto factory in SãoBernardo do Campo. The homeless families, who numbered in the thousandsand had been organized by the Movement of Homeless Workers (MTST), hadbeen camping at the site since July 19 to demand housing and jobs fromthe state and federal governments. While MTST leaders were talking tothe journalists, three men who had just robbed a nearby gas stationentered the campsite brandishing handguns. One of them shot da Costa inthe chest at close range. The journalist was then taken to the SãoBernardo Municipal Hospital but died shortly after.


Chou Chetharith, Ta Prum, Oct. 18, 2003, PhnomPenh Chetharith, a deputy editor of the royalist FUNCINPEC party’s TaPrum radio station, was killed by a gunman riding on the back of amotorcycle while the journalist was on his way to work in the capital,Phnom Penh. According to witnesses interviewed by Agence France-Presse,Chetharith, 37, was shot in the head at point-blank range in broaddaylight. Local sources tell CPJ that Ta Prum is known for its criticalreporting of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, and that the station’sdirector, Noranarith Anandayath, is an adviser to FUNCINPEC party chiefPrince Norodom Ranaridhh. The day before the shooting, the primeminister criticized Ta Prum in the English-language Cambodia Times,accusing the station of insulting his leadership. In early December,Police Commissioner Heng Pov told the Cambodian Center for Human Rights(CCHR) that although police have identified possible suspects inChetarith’s murder, they do not have enough evidence to make anyarrests. The CCHR conducted an in-depth investigation into the killingand concluded that Chetarith was killed because of his work as ajournalist.


Luis Eduardo Alfonso Parada, Radio Meridiano-70,March 18, 2003, Arauca Alfonso, a 33-year-old radio news host, was shotto death by two gunmen in the town of Arauca, near the Venezuelanborder, while he tried to enter his office at Radio Meridiano-70. Thejournalist, who had been threatened previously by members of aright-wing paramilitary army, was also a freelance reporter forColombia’s most widely read daily, El Tiempo. In November 2002,Alfonso’s name was one of about 100 that appeared on a list distributedin the town of Arauca by paramilitary fighters, who threatened to killthe people on the list unless they “reformed,” said Meléndez.

Guillermo Bravo Vega, Alpevisión Radio, April 28, 2003, NeivaBravo, a 65-year-old investigative journalist with the regionalAlpevisión Radio, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman who sneakedinto his house in the southern town of Neiva, Huila Department. As ofDecember, authorities had not made any arrests in the case, according toDelgado. Bravo, who directed the morning television program “Hechos ycifras” (Facts and Figures) for Alpevisión, had frequently accusedmunicipal and departmental government officials of mishandling publicfunds. Bravo also published an occasional newsletter focused oneconomics and finance called Eco Impacto. Authorities, who believe thatBravo may have been assassinated for denouncing public officials on hisprogram, are investigating reports that he was killed by a professionalassassin hired by government officials, said Pedro Moreno, director ofintelligence for the Administrative Department for Security in Huila.

Jaime Rengifo Revero, Olímpica Radio, April 29, 2003, MaicaoRengifo, a 48-year-old host for Radio Olímpica, was shot dead by anunidentified gunman in the hallway of a hotel where the journalist livedin the northern town of Maicao, La Guajira Department, authoritiesreported. As of December, authorities had not made any arrests, statepolice chief Col. Heriberto Naranjo told CPJ. Officials continue toinvestigate reports that Rengifo was killed for comments made during hisweekly morning program on Radio Olímpica, “Periodistas en acción”(Journalists in action). Rengifo frequently criticized state securityforces for failing to bring security to the region and also accusedlocal politicians of corruption, said James Vargas, the station’sproduction director.

Juan Carlos Benavides Arévalo, Manantial Estéreo, Aug. 22, 2003,Puerto Caicedo Benavides, a 29-year-old host for the community radiostation Manantial Estéreo, was shot dead when the vehicle in which hewas traveling was fired on at a checkpoint reportedly guarded by membersof the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) near the town ofPuerto Caicedo, in southern Colombia. Benavides died after being shotwhen his driver decided to elude the checkpoint. The journalist hostedthe morning radio program “Panorama Informativo” (News Outlook) onManantial Estéreo, which is run by the Roman Catholic Diocese ofPutumayo Department, in the town of Sibundoy. Also in the car was JaimeConrado Juajibioy Cuarán, 24, who worked on Benavides’ program.Juajibioy was seriously injured in the attack. According to local pressreports, the rebels who shot at the vehicle were FARC members. However,government forces, right-wing paramilitary militias, and drug lords – inaddition to the FARC – are also known to control checkpoints in theregion.


Héctor Ramírez, Noti 7 and Radio Sonora, July 24,2003, Guatemala City Ramírez, a reporter for Guatemala’s Noti 7television station and Radio Sonora, died from a heart attack afterfleeing from attackers who were beating him while he was coveringprotests in the capital, Guatemala City, according to autopsy results.On July 24, riots erupted across Guatemala City after the SupremeCourt’s July 20 decision granting two opposition parties an injunctiontemporarily barring former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt from running forpresident in the Nov. 9 elections. A later ruling allowed Ríos Montt torun in the poll, which he lost. Supporters of Ríos Montt’s politicalparty, the Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG), attacked other journalistsin different areas of the capital, sources told CPJ.


Parvaz Mohammed Sultan, News and Feature Alliance,Jan. 31, 2003, Srinagar Sultan, editor of the independent newswireservice News and Feature Alliance (NAFA), which is based in Srinagar,the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir State, was shot dead by anunidentified gunman. Sultan, 36, was known as an independent journalistwho had worked for several local Urdu-language dailies during hiscareer. In addition to running NAFA, he contributed investigativestories and columns to the Urdu-language newspaper Chattan,one of theoldest newspapers in Kashmir. Journalists working in the disputedterritory of Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim, have longbeen vulnerable to attack by various parties to the conflict.


Ersa Siregar, Rajawali Citra Televisi, Dec. 29,2003, Aceh Siregar, a senior reporter with private Indonesian channelRajawali Citra Televisi (RCTI), was shot and killed during a gun battlebetween Indonesian military forces and separatist rebels in the war-tornAceh Province, according to RCTI chief editor Derek Manangka. Accordingto news reports, the rebels accused the military of executing Siregar.In response, the military has claimed that the rebels were using thejournalist as a human shield. Siregar, 52, was kidnapped on June 29 byrebels from the Free Aceh Movement, known by its Indonesian acronym GAM,along with cameraman Ferry Santoro, their driver, and two Indonesianofficers’ wives who were sharing a ride with the journalists to the townof Lhokseumawe in northern Aceh. On Nov. 5, Indonesian security ministerSusilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered the military to start an operation tolocate the hostages. On Dec. 19, the driver was released unharmed. RCTIcameraman Ferry Santoro and the two officers’ wives are still missing.


Zahra Kazemi, freelance, July 10, 2003, Tehran Kazemi,an Iranian-Canadian freelance photographer, died in Tehran’sBaghiatollah Hospital after being transferred from government custody.Kazemi, a contributor to the Montreal-based magazine Recto Verso and theLondon-based photo agency Camera Press, was detained on June 23 whiletaking photographs of the families of detainees outside Tehran’s EvinPrison. She was held for nearly two weeks before being transferred tothe hospital in a coma. During subsequent weeks, officials tried tocover up the circumstances of Kazemi’s death. A government inquiryreleased in late July concluded that Kazemi died as a result of a skullfracture likely caused by a blow to her head. Authorities prevented anautopsy by burying Kazemi’s body in Iran against the wishes of herfamily in Canada. The Canadian government responded by withdrawing itsambassador to Tehran. In the ensuing months, several agents from theIntelligence Ministry were arrested in connection with Kazemi’s death,but as of early November, only one remained in jail – Mohammed RezaAghdam Ahmadi. His trial was ongoing at year’s end.

IRAQ: 13

Terry Lloyd, ITV News, March 22, 2003, near Al-ZubayrLloyd, a veteran correspondent with ITV News, was confirmed dead onMarch 23 by the British TV network ITN, which produces ITV News. Theprevious day, he had disappeared after coming under fire while drivingto the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Two others disappeared with Lloyd,cameraman Fred Nerac and translator Hussein Othman. They remain missing.The three men, along with cameraman Daniel Demoustier, were traveling intwo marked press vehicles in the town of Iman Anas, near Al-Zubayr, whenthey came under fire, ITN reported. According to Demoustier, the car heand Lloyd had been driving had been pursued by Iraqi troops who may havebeen attempting to surrender to the journalists. Demoustier reportedthat the incoming fire to their vehicles likely came from U.S. orBritish forces in the area. An investigative article published in TheWall Street Journal in May indicated that Lloyd’s SUV and anothervehicle belonging to his colleagues came under fire from U.S. Marines.The article cited accounts from U.S. troops who recalled opening fire oncars marked “TV.” Soldiers also said they believed that Iraqi suicidebombers were using the cars to attack U.S. troops.

Paul Moran, freelance, March 22, 2003, Gerdigo Moran, afree-lance cameraman on assignment for the Australian BroadcastingCorporation (ABC), was killed in a suicide bombing when a man detonateda car at a checkpoint in northeastern Iraq. Another Australianjournalist, ABC correspondent Eric Campbell, was injured in theincident. Most of the other journalists had just left the scene. Moran,who was filming at the time, was standing only a few feet from thecheckpoint and was killed immediately. Campbell was injured by shrapnel.Chua-Eoan said it appeared that the bomber was targeting soldierscontrolling the checkpoint, not the journalists. According to TheAssociated Press, at least four other people were killed in the bombing.Militants from Ansar al-Islam are believed to be responsible for theattack.

Kaveh Golestan, freelance, April 2, 2003, Kifri Golestan, anIranian freelance cameraman on assignment for the BBC, was killed innorthern Iraq after stepping on a land mine, the BBC confirmed. Golestanaccidentally detonated the mine when he exited his car near the town ofKifri, John Morrissey of the BBC’s foreign desk told CPJ. The cameramanwas traveling as part of a four-person BBC crew that included Tehran,Iran, bureau chief Jim Muir; producer Stuart Hughes; and translatorRabeen Azad. Hughes’ foot was injured and later treated by U.S. militarymedics. Muir and the translator suffered light cuts, Morrissey said.

Michael Kelly, Atlantic Monthly and The Washington Post, April 3,2003, outside of Baghdad Kelly, editor-at-large of the Atlantic Monthlyand a columnist with The Washington Post, was killed while travelingwith the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division just south of the Baghdadairport, according to a statement from The Washington Post . Accordingto press reports, when the humvee in which Kelly was riding came underIraqi fire, the soldier driving the vehicle tried to evade the attack,and the jeep ran off the road and rolled into a canal. Both Kelly andthe driver drowned. Kelly, who had previously served as the editor ofThe New Republic and the National Journal, was the first U.S. journalistkilled while covering the war.

Christian Liebig, Focus, April 7, 2003, outside Baghdad Liebig, areporter for the German weekly magazine Focus, died in an Iraqi missileattack while accompanying the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division south ofthe capital, Baghdad. Both Liebig and Julio Anguita Parrado, a Spanishjournalist also killed in the incident, were embedded with the division,according to Agence France-Presse.

Julio Anguita Parrado, El Mundo, April 7, 2003, outside BaghdadParrado, a correspondent for the Spanish daily El Mundo, died in anIraqi missile attack while accompanying the U.S. Army’s 3rd InfantryDivision south of the capital, Baghdad. Both Parrado and ChristianLiebig, a German journalist for Focus magazine who was also killed inthe incident, were embedded with the division, according to AgenceFrance-Presse.

Tareq Ayyoub, Al-Jazeera, April 8, 2003, Baghdad Ayyoub, aJordanian national working with the Qatar-based satellite channelAl-Jazeera, was killed when a U.S. missile struck the station’s Baghdadbureau, which was located in a two-story villa in a residential areanear the Iraqi Information Ministry and the former presidential palacecompound of Saddam Hussein. Al-Jazeera cameraman Zouhair Nadhim, who wasoutside on the building’s roof with Ayyoub, was injured in the blast,which targeted a small electric generator outside the building. Centcommaintains that U.S. forces were responding to enemy fire in the area andthat the Al-Jazeera journalists were caught in the crossfire. Al-Jazeeracorrespondents deny that any fire came from their building. The attackoccurred during heavy fighting around the bureau in an area that housedgovernment buildings targeted by U.S. and coalition forces. Al-Jazeeraofficials pointed out that the U.S. military had been given the bureau’sexact coordinates weeks before the war began. In its April 8 letter toU.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld CPJ noted that, “The attackagainst Al-Jazeera is of particular concern since the stations’ officeswere also hit in Kabul, Afghanistan, in November 2001. The Pentagonasserted, without providing additional detail, that the office was a‘known Al-Qaeda facility,’ and that the U.S. military did not know thespace was being used by Al-Jazeera.” CPJ is still waiting for theDefense Department to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act requestrelated to the incident that CPJ filed in May.

José Couso, Telecinco, April 8, 2003, Baghdad Couso, a cameramanfor the Spanish television station Telecinco, died after a U.S. tankfired a shell at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, wheremost journalists in the city were based during the war. A shell hit twohotel balconies where several journalists were monitoring a battle inthe vicinity. Taras Protsyuk, a Ukranian cameraman for Reuters, was alsokilled in the attack Agence France-Presse reported that Couso was hit inhis jaw and right leg. He was taken to Saint Raphael Hospital, where hedied during surgery. Directly after the attack, Maj. Gen. Buford Blount,commander of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, confirmed that asingle shell had been fired at the hotel from a tank in response to whathe said was rocket and small arms fire from the building. Journalists atthe hotel deny that any gunfire had emanated from the building. A CPJreport concluded that the shelling of the hotel, while not deliberate,was avoidable since U.S. commanders knew that journalists were presentin the hotel and were intent on not hitting it. The report called on thePentagon to conduct a thorough and public investigation into theincident.

Taras Protsyuk, Reuters, April 8, 2003, Baghdad Protsyuk, acameraman for Reuters, died after a U.S. tank fired a shell at thePalestine Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, where most journalists inthe city were based during the war. José Couso, a cameraman for theSpanish television station Telecinco, also died in the attack. AgenceFrance-Presse reported that Protsyuk died of wounds to his head andstomach. He had worked for Reuters since 1993, covering conflicts inBosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, and Afghanistan.

Richard Wild, freelance, July 5, 2003, Baghdad Wild, a24-year-old British freelance cameraman who was working in Baghdad, diedafter an unidentified assailant approached him and shot him in the headat close range on a street near the city’s Natural History Museum. Wild,who had previously worked at Britain’s ITN as a picture researcher, wentto Iraq with aspirations of being a war reporter. Some press reportsstated that Wild was not carrying a camera or wearing any clothing thatwould have identified him as a journalist at the time of the shooting.One of Wild’s colleagues in Baghdad, British TV producer Michael Burke,told newspapers that Wild was working on a story about looting at themuseum. While some speculated that he may have been mistaken for amember of the U.S. military, the motive for the murder remains unclear.

Jeremy Little, NBC News, July 6, 2003, Fallujah Little, anAustralian freelance soundman working for the U.S.-based televisionnetwork NBC, was injured in a grenade attack in the Iraqi town ofFallujah on June 29 while embedded with U.S. troops. He died of“post-operative complications,” according to a statement from NBC News.Little, 27, was embedded with the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division for NBCNews and had been receiving treatment at a military hospital in Germany.

Mazen Dana, Reuters, Aug. 17, 2003, outside Baghdad Dana, aveteran conflict cameraman for Reuters news agency, was killed bymachine gun fire from a U.S. tank near the capital, Baghdad. Dana wasstruck while filming near Abu Ghraib Prison, outside Baghdad. He hadbeen reporting with a colleague near the prison after a mortar attackhad killed six Iraqis there the previous night. The soldier in the tankwho fired on Dana did so without warning, while the journalist filmedthe vehicle approaching him from about 55 yards (50 meters). U.S.military officials said the soldier who opened fire mistook Dana’scamera for a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher. There was nofighting taking place in the area, and the journalists had beenoperating in the vicinity of the prison with the knowledge of U.S.troops near the prison gates. In an Aug. 18 letter to U.S. Secretary ofDefense Donald H. Rumsfeld, CPJ protested the shooting, stating that itraised “serious questions about the conduct of U.S. troops and theirrules of engagement.” On Sept. 22, the U.S. military announced that ithad concluded its investigation into the incident. A spokesman for U.S.Central Command (Centcom) in Iraq told CPJ that while Dana’s killing was“regrettable,” the soldier “acted within the rules of engagement.” Nofurther details were provided. The results of the investigation have notbeen made public. A Centcom spokesman said other details of the reportare classified.

Ahmed Shawkat, Bilah Ittijah, Oct. 28, 2003, Mosul Shawkat,editor of the weekly Bilah Ittijah (Without Direction), was shot andkilled by one or more gunmen at his office in Mosul. According to pressreports, a gunman and an accomplice followed the journalist to the roofof his office. One local journalist told CPJ that Shawkat was on theroof making a call from his satellite telephone when he was shot.


Nazih Darwazeh,Associated Press Television News, April 19, 2003, Nablus Darwazeh, acameraman for The Associated Press Television News (APTN), was shot andkilled by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus while filmingclashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli troops, according toPalestinian journalists who witnessed the incident. The shootingoccurred after clashes erupted in Nablus when Israeli forces entered thecity’s downtown area in tanks, searching for an alleged Palestiniansuicide bomber. Clashes broke out in several locations near the city’scenter, involving youths throwing stones and Molotov cocktails atIsraeli troops. At the time that Darwazeh was shot, he had been filmingan Israeli tank stranded at the corner of an alleyway. Otherphotographers who were standing near Darwazeh said an Israeli soldiercrouched under the tank and quickly fired a single shot at thejournalists from a distance of about 11 to 22 yards (10 or 20 meters).Darwazeh was struck in the back of the head and died instantly.

James Miller, freelance, May 2, 2003, Rafah Miller, a Britishfreelance cameraman and film director with U.K.-based Frostbite Films,was fatally shot in the Gaza Strip. An award-winning documentaryfilmmaker, the journalist was with a crew in the town of Rafah insouthern Gaza near the Egyptian border filming an HBO documentary on theIsraeli-Palestinian conflict. That evening, he and his four-person crewwere in a Palestinian home filming the army’s demolition of houses inthe area that the Israeli army alleged contained tunnels used to smugglearms. According to published testimonies of eyewitnesses and anAssociated Press Television News cameraman who was filming in the samehouse, the incident occurred when the group attempted to identifythemselves to the Israeli troops in the area while they were leaving.The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops were in armored personnelcarriers (APCs) about 330 feet (100 meters) away from the house wherethe journalists had been filming. The journalists were wearing jacketsand helmets marked “TV.” A translator waved a white flag while Millerused a flashlight to illuminate the flag. As they approached the APCs,the journalists shouted “Hello,” and then a shot was fired. Thejournalists yelled that they were British journalists, and a second shotwas fired immediately after. In video footage of the incident, itappears that that the second shot hit Miller, who was struck in theneck. Several more shots followed.

Journalists killed in 2003

By Quill



Jean Hélène, Radio France Internationale, Oct.21, 2003, Abidjan Hélène, correspondent for Radio France Internationale(RFI) in Ivory Coast’s capital, Abidjan, was shot by a police officeroutside the national police headquarters in central Abidjan whilewaiting to interview detained opposition activists who were beingreleased, according to local and international press reports. A militaryprosecutor described the shooting as a “deliberate act.” Authoritiessaid the trial of the officer, Sgt. Théodore Sery Dago, who is chargedwith murder, will begin on Jan. 20. Officials said the trial will beheld in a civilian, rather than military, court “to permit the public toobserve and have access.” Although the motive for the killing isunknown, the assassination occurred against a background of anti-Frenchsentiment since Ivory Coast plunged into civil war and crisis in Sept.2002. France has troops in the country and helped broker a peaceagreement signed in Paris in January 2003. The international – andespecially French – media have also come under attack from the localpress since the crisis began.


Gyanendra Khadka, Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Sept. 7,2003, Jyamire, Sindhupalchowk Khadka, 35, a journalist with thestate-owned news agency Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), was brutallymurdered in Nepal’s eastern Sindhupalchowk District by a group ofsuspected Maoist rebels. According to RSS, the rebels took Khadka awayfrom a school where he taught part time and led him to a nearby field,where they tied his hands to a pole and slit his throat. No motive isknown for his murder, but during Nepal’s 7-year-old civil war, bothrebels and government security forces have targeted journalists.


Fazal Wahab, freelance, Jan. 21, 2003, MingoraWahab, a freelance writer, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmenwhile he was sitting in a roadside shop in Manglawar Bazaar, near theresort town of Mingora in northwestern Pakistan. The shopkeeper and hisyoung assistant also died in the attack. Wahab, who lived in Mingora,had published several books in Urdu and in Pashto – the language spokenin the border region of Pakistan and parts of neighboring Afghanistan –that criticized local religious leaders and Islamic militantorganizations.


Apolinario “Polly” Pobeda, DWTI-AM radio, May17, 2003, Lucena City, Quezon Two unidentified gunmen stopped radio hostPobeda as he rode his motorcycle to work in Lucena City, QuezonProvince, and shot him repeatedly, according to Philippine pressreports. On Pobeda’s radio program “Nosi Balasi” (Who Are They?), whichhe co-hosted on DWTI-AM, the journalist often criticized corrupt localofficials. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Pobeda wasparticularly outspoken against Lucena City Mayor Ramon Talaga, whom thejournalist had accused of being involved in the local drug trade. On May22, police arrested brothers Eric and Eulogio Patulay as suspects in themurder. An eyewitness to the crime had identified them as thetriggermen, according to local police. Press reports said the Patulaybrothers were bodyguards of Romano Talaga, Ramon Talaga’s son, althoughRomano Talaga claimed they had just acted as his “guides” when hetraveled. Both the Patulays and Ramon Talaga denied any involvement inPobeda’s murder. A third suspect remains at large.

Bonifacio Gregorio, Dyaryo Banat, July 8, 2003, La Paz, TarlacGregorio, a reporter and columnist for the weekly Dyaryo Banat, in LaPaz, a town in the central Tarlac Province, was talking to a colleagueon a cell phone in front of his house when an unidentified gunman shothim in the head three times at close range. Local journalists believethat Gregorio, 55, was killed for his journalistic work. Before joiningthe newspaper, Gregorio served for nine years as chief of Caramutan, abarangay, or village, in La Paz. During his three years as a columnistfor Dyaryo Banat, Gregorio wrote many critical articles about officialsin La Paz, including Mayor Dionisio Manuel. In interviews with localnewspapers, Manuel has denied having anything to do with Gregorio’sdeath. While police have formed a special task force to solve Gregorio’smurder, and Tarlac governor Jose Yap Sr. has publicly urged police tofind the killer and prosecute him, no arrests have been made.

Noel Villarante, DZJV Radio and Laguna Score, Aug. 19, 2003,Santa Cruz, Laguna Province Villarante, of DZJV Radio and the localnewspaper Laguna Score, was shot and killed by a gunman outside hishouse in Santa Cruz City in central Laguna Province. After being shotonce, Villarante ran inside his home. While his relatives helped himoutside again to get to a hospital, the gunman shot Villarante twice inthe head, killing him instantly. Villarante was known for his criticalreports on allegedly corrupt local officials and drug traffickers. Aneditor of Laguna Score told journalists he believes that Villarante wasmurdered in reprisal for his work, and that the reporter had receivednumerous death threats in the past. On Aug. 26, police in Lagunaannounced that they had arrested Senando Palumbarit, identified in pressreports as a civilian police agent, as a suspect in Villarante’s murder.The National Bureau of Investigation said that Palumbarit’s arrest wasbased on a police sketch of the suspect. Palumbarit has denied anyinvolvement in the murder.

Rico Ramirez, DXSF Radio, Aug. 20, 2003, Agusan del Sur Policefound the body of Ramirez, a commentator for DXSF Radio, on the side ofthe road in San Francisco, a town in the southern province of Agusan delSur. Authorities did not announce the murder until Sept. 2 but offeredno explanation for the two-week delay. Police said that Ramirez had beenshot once in the back, but that the investigation was hindered by thefact that there were no witnesses. According to The Philippine DailyInquirer, Ramirez had reported on corruption, drug trafficking, andofficial wrongdoing by local politicians.

Juan “Jun” Pala, DXGO radio, Sept. 6, 2003, Davao CityUnidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle shot Pala, a commentator on DXGOradio, while he was walking home with a bodyguard and a friend in DavaoCity. The journalist, who suffered nine gunshot wounds, was pronounceddead on arrival at the San Pedro Hospital, according to the Manila-basedCenter for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). His companionssustained minor injuries. In the 1980s, Pala was known for his fierycriticisms of communist rebel groups. At that time, he also served as aspokesperson for an anti-communist vigilante group. In recent years, hisradio show has focused more on exposing corruption among localpoliticians, according to CMFR and press reports. Following Pala’smurder, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the PhilippineNational Police to form a task force to investigate all recent murdersof journalists.


Aleksei Sidorov, Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye, Oct. 9,2003, Togliatti Sidorov, the editor-in-chief of the independent dailyTolyatinskoye Obozreniye, was murdered in Togliatti, a city on the VolgaRiver 600 miles (960 kilometers) east of the capital, Moscow. Sidorovwas the second editor-in-chief of Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye to bemurdered in the last two years. His predecessor, Valery Ivanov, was shotat point-blank range in April 2002. According to local press reports,two unidentified assailants stabbed Sidorov several times in the chestlate while he was approaching the apartment building in Togliatti wherehe lived with his family. The assailants fled after stabbing Sidorov,and the editor died in his wife’s arms after she heard his call for helpand came down to the entrance of their building. According to the localpress reports, Samara’s Deputy Prosecutor General Yevgeny Novozhylovsaid that an intoxicated welder from one of the local factories, YevgeniMaininger, stumbled upon Sidorov that evening and murdered him after abrief argument. Local police detained Maininger on Oct. 12 and chargedhim with murder on Oct. 21 after he confessed to the killing.Journalists at Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye say they are skeptical,especially because Maininger misidentified the location where Sidorovhad been stabbed outside of his apartment. Maininger’s wife disputed theconfession, pointing out a number of inconsistencies in his statement –including errors in the description of the clothes Maininger was wearingthat evening and the time he left his home – and said she believed thathe was being set up, the independent Moscow daily Kommersant reported.


Abdullahi Madkeer,DMC Radio, Jan. 24, 2003, Baidoa Madkeer, ajournalist with DMC Radio, was accidentally shot in the stomach bymembers of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) militia while coveringthe reopening of Baidoa Airport in the southwest of the country,according to the Somali Journalists’ Network (SOJON) and the ActionAlert Group, a press freedom organization. He was taken to a hospitaland died that day after doctors refused to operate on him because he wasHIV positive. The shooting occurred while militia belonging to the RRAfaction of Shaykh Adan Madobe fired on the airport crowd to drive themback from an aircraft with a cargo of the narcotic khat. The airport hadjust reopened after months of war between rival RRA factions in theregion.



Oscar Salazar Jaramillo, Radio Sevilla, March 10,2003, Sevilla Salazar, owner of Radio Sevilla in the Valle del CaucaDepartment in southwestern Colombia, was found dead in his apartment inthe town of Sevilla with several stab wounds in his chest, stomach, andabdomen, according to a police bulletin. Salazar, 74, hosted a one-hourradio program broadcast on Saturdays called “Sevilla in Seven Days” andwas also the founder and owner of the station, said Wilson Rendón, astation employee. On his radio program, Salazar gave commentary onpolitics, sports, and community news and discussed issues on air withlisteners who called. He had served as a congressman and a state deputybut did not hold a political position at the time of his death, saidRendón. Salazar had recently criticized local politicians for notfulfilling campaign promises and ignoring constituents’ needs. Arelative of Salazar’s, Rafael Salazar, told local reporters that thejournalist had been threatened with death shortly before he was killedfor opinions expressed on the air.

José Emeterio Rivas, Radio Calor Estéreo, April 6, 2003,Barrancabermeja Rivas, a 44-year-old journalist for Radio Calor Estéreo,was killed by unidentified gunmen. Police found the journalist’sbullet-ridden body on April 7 on a road outside the town ofBarrancabermeja, Santander Department, in northeastern Colombia. He hadfour bullet wounds, according to local police commander Col. Jorge Gil.Lying next to him was the body of Paolo César Montesinos, a 22-year-olduniversity student whom authorities believe was also killed with Rivas.It is not yet clear why the two men were together. Rivas hosted acontroversial morning program on Radio Calor Estéreo called “FuerzasVivas” (Live Forces). In the weeks before his death, Rivas had publiclyaccused the town’s mayor of corruption and collaboration with members ofthe Central Bolívar Block of the right-wing paramilitary UnitedSelf-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), said Carolina Sánchez,spokeswoman for Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office. On July 11, theoffice issued arrest warrants for the mayor, Julio César Ardila, andthree high-level officials in his office identified as Abelardo RuedaTobón, Juan Pablo Ariza Castañeda, and Fabio Pajón Lizcano, who werearrested that day. Ardila gave himself up on Sept. 17. Sánchez said itis believed that the four men may have hired paramilitary members tokill Rivas. The four town officials appealed their arrests, and in lateOctober a prosecutor found that there was not enough evidence to keepRueda, Ariza, and Liscano in custody, Ardila remains in jail on chargesof collaborating with the paramilitary forces. Authorities have alsoissued arrest warrants for three leaders of the Central Bolívar Block inconnection with the killing. Sánchez said one of the men has beencaptured. Another was killed before authorities reached him, and thethird is in hiding. Sánchez declined to discuss whether investigatorsbelieve that Rivas was killed for his journalistic work.

William Soto Cheng, Telemar, Dec. 18, 2003, Buenaventura Soto, a46-year-old journalist with the local television station Telemar, wasshot dead by two unknown gunmen in the city of Buenaventura, Valle delCauca Department, in western Colombia. Two men riding on a motorcycleshot Soto three times at close range while he was near the Telemaroffices, where he hosted a news program, “Litoral Pacífico” (PacificCoast), four times a week, and a sports show, “Deportes enAcción”(Sports in Action), once a week. According to CPJ sources, duringthe Oct. 26 municipal elections, Soto said on his show that police andmilitary forces were responsible for irregularities in the tally ofvotes. Soto also accused the local police chief of corruption. Sourcessaid that after the journalist made the accusations, he admitted he waswrong and apologized after being threatened with criminal charges. OnDec. 23, Buenaventura Mayor Jaime Mosquera Borja announced the arrest oftwo individuals suspected of carrying out the crime. The mayor refusedto speculate about the motives of the murder.


Germán Antonio Rivas, Corporación Maya Visión,Nov. 26, 2003, Santa Rosa de Copán Rivas, owner of the local TV stationCorporación Maya Visión-Canal 7, was murdered outside his station’sstudios in the western city of Santa Rosa de Copán, near the borderbetween Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The murder occurred ataround 6:30 p.m., several minutes before his station’s news program wasabout to begin, according to local news reports. When Rivas exited hiscar, an unidentified gunman shot him in the head and fled. Police arepursuing several possible motives in the investigation, including thatRivas was killed for his journalistic work. Authorities have identifiedthree individuals who allegedly committed the murder, but arrestwarrants for the suspects have not yet been issued, the Tegucigalpadaily La Prensa reported.


Parmanand Goyal, Punjab Kesari, Sept. 18, 2003,Kaithal Goyal, a journalist with the daily Punjab Kesari, was shot andkilled by three unidentified assailants at his home in Kaithal, Haryana,north of the capital, Delhi, according to local press reports. CPJ isinvestigating the motives behind his murder. According to India’s TheTribune newspaper, Goyal’s son Naveen Rinku answered the door at Goyal’shome, where three men asked to speak with his father. Rinku told Goyalabout the visitors and asked the men to wait in the backyard. TheTribune reported that Rinku claimed to have overheard the menthreatening his father to stop writing about a local political figureand the police. Soon after, Goyal was found wounded in the backyard, andhis assailants fled the scene. Goyal was rushed to the hospital but waspronounced dead on arrival, according to press reports. Goyal had beenarrested on corruption charges in May and was released on bail earlierthis month. His family says that the charges against him were false.Goyal was the district president of the Haryana Union of Journalists.Local journalists, outraged by the murder, gathered on Sept. 19 for amoment of silence in his memory and to call for an investigation intohis murder.


Mohamad Jamal, TVRI, Date unknown, Banda Aceh Jamal, 30, acameraman for the Indonesian state broadcast network TVRI, was kidnappedon May 20 by unidentified gunmen at his office in Banda Aceh, theadministrative center of strife-torn Aceh Province. Though thejournalist was abducted on May 20, just one day after the launch of amajor Indonesian military offensive to crush the separatist rebellion inAceh, it was not clear why he was targeted. A military spokesman toldReuters news agency that Jamal’s body was found in a river on June 17.Other witnesses said that Jamal’s eyes and mouth had been covered withduct tape, his hands bound with a nylon cord, and that a noose lashed toa boulder was tied around his neck, according to Reuters. Indonesia’smilitary has denied any involvement in Jamal’s murder and accused him ofbeing sympathetic to the Free Aceh Movement GAM rebels, according to theAlliance of International Journalists, Indonesia’s oldest independentjournalists’ organization.


Kloueu Gonzreu, Ivoirian Press Agency, Date unknown,Toulépleu The body of Ivoirian journalist Kloueu Gonzreu, 51, who workedfor the state-owned Ivoirian Press Agency and the Red Cross, was foundin March near the western town of Toulépleu, on the border of Liberia,by a team from the Red Cross. His body was found with those of his19-year-old son and two local Red Cross volunteers. The victimsreportedly disappeared on Jan. 11. Local journalists told CPJ at thetime they believed that Gonzreu had been kidnapped and killed byLiberian mercenaries fighting for the Ivoirian government, and that hisdeath could have been linked to his work as a journalist. Thepro-government newspaper Notre Pays, in its Jan. 30 edition, had accusedhim of “voicing sympathy with the rebellion.” However, the circumstancesof his death remain murky, and some have also raised the possibilitythat he was killed in crossfire during an upsurge of fighting in early2003 between government and rebel forces there. Because Toulépleu isremote with no government authority ruling it, no inquiry has beenconducted.


Satoru Someya, freelance, Date unknown, Tokyo On Sept. 12,police found Someya’s body near a pier in Tokyo Bay. The exact time ofhis death is unknown, although an autopsy determined that Someya hadbeen dead for one to two weeks, according to Japanese press reports.Police are considering several motives behind the murder, including hisjournalism and problems with debt. Someya’s body was wrapped in aweighted chain, his hands were tied with rope, and he had eight stabwounds in his back and two gashes in his head, according to policereports. Someya had been missing since Sept. 5, when he last spoke byphone with a magazine editor. Someya, 38, reported for various magazinesabout organized crime in Tokyo under the pen name Kuragaki Kashiwabara.In July, he published a book titled Kabukicho Underground about Chinesecriminal groups operating in Kabukicho, Tokyo’s notorious red lightdistrict.


Ernis Nazalov, Kyrgyz Ruhu, Sept. 15, 2003, Kara-Suu Thebody of Nazalov, a journalist for the independent Bishkek daily KyrgyzRuhu, was found early in the morning on the bank of an irrigation canalin Kara-Suu District near the southern region of Osh, according to localpress reports. Police in Kara-Suu District initially opened a criminalinquiry into the 26-year-old journalist’s death but closed it after theysaid autopsy reports showed Nazalov had drowned, local CPJ sourcesreported. While Nazalov’s journalism had focused on cultural and socialissues, his family and colleagues suspect that his death may have beenrelated to his recent investigation of corrupt senior governmentofficials in the Osh regional administration. The Bishkek-based Bureaufor Human Rights and the Rule of Law reported that it took Nazalov’sfather an entire month to obtain a copy of the autopsy report, whichlisted numerous wounds and injuries found on the journalist’s body andsuggested they could have been inflicted prior to death.


Nelson Nadura, Radio DYME, Dec. 2, 2003, Masbate CityNadura, a commentator for Radio DYME in the Philippine’s central MasbateCity, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen. The attack occurredwhile Nadura was on his motorcycle leaving the radio station after hisdaily broadcast, according to press reports and the Center for MediaFreedom and Responsibility, a Manila-based press freedom organization.The motive behind Nadura’s killing is unclear, and police are conductingan investigation. Nadura, 42, hosted a morning talk show on politicalaffairs called “Opinyon Publiko” (Public Opinion), during which hecriticized local officials. A former member of the communist rebel groupNew Peoples Army, Nadura was amnestied in 1998 after surrendering to thegovernment. He later started working as a radio commentator. At the timeof his death, he was president of the Union of Print and BroadcastJournalists of Masbate. On Dec. 3, President Gloria Macagapal Arroyocondemned Nadura’s murder, stating, “These attacks against members ofthe press shall not go unpunished.” Since the return of democracy in thePhilippines in 1986, more than 40 journalists have been murdered therefor their work. None of these murders have been solved.


Dmitry Shvets, TV-21 Northwestern Broadcasting, April 18,2003, Murmansk Shvets, the 37-year-old deputy director-general of theindependent television station TV-21 Northwestern Broadcasting in thenorthern Russian city of Murmansk, was shot dead outside the station’soffices. Shvets was well-known in Murmansk, not only for running thetelevision station but also for his political activism and a number ofcommercial interests. Although he had not worked as a journalist in manyyears, Shvets remained in a managerial position and on the station’sboard of directors. According to press reports and the Moscow-basedCenter for Journalism in Extreme Situations (CJES), he influenced thestation’s editorial policy, and TV-21’s reporting often reflected hispolitical persuasions. The Murmansk media covered Shvets’ murder widelyand actively speculated about the possible motive. Shvets’ colleaguessaid TV-21 had received multiple threats for its critical reporting onseveral influential politicians, including Andrei Gorshkov, a candidatein the city’s mayoral race.


Surapong Ritthi, freelance, Feb. 11, 2003, Patong BeachSurapong, 43, was shot dead at around 3:00 a.m. on Feb. 11, 2003, whilehe was leaving a grocery store on Rat-U-Thit Road in Patong Beach, apopular tourist destination in southern Phuket Province, according tolocal journalists. A lone gunman shot him twice in the back of the headat close range. Surapong worked as a local stringer in Phuket for thenational newspaper Thai Rath, the regional newspaper Siang Tai, and theindependent, national television station Channel 3. Several of thejournalist’s colleagues in Phuket believe that Surapong may have beenkilled in reprisal for his reporting, but other colleagues report thathe was probably killed because of an unspecified “personal conflict.”The motive behind the murder remains unconfirmed.