30 March 1999
Volume 08 - 1999 Issue 12 (30 March 1999)
Kenyan journalist Pamela Mulumby, who works for the Nairobi-based "East African Standard", was named African Journalist of the Year at an event in Johannesburg, South Africa last weekend, reports the Pan African News Agency (PANA). She won first prize in the print category and received US$8,000, as well as a sponsored trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mulumby is completing a degree in communications and majoring in journalism at Daystar University in Kenya. She reported on the slums of Kenya. According to PANA, she said, "Nobody goes there. The story I submitted tells of the desperation, the insecurity, the poverty and prostitution, the child abuse, labour, drug abuse and crime that takes place in these slums. I have visited Majengo slum often and make sure that I do not only give them negative publicity. I want to change fixed impressions about slums that they are a breeding pit for most criminal activities." Mulumby, who PANA describes as "ardently feminist," said, "My win goes to the women of Africa. This shows that women will win in this male-dominated profession. But it is only through hard work that women can excel."
"World Press Review" has honoured Indonesian Goenawan Mohamad, editor of "Tempo" news magazine, as International Editor of the Year. "World Press Review" is published by the Stanley Foundation and is available on-line at
There are 823 cases of writers and journalists murdered, disappeared, arrested, or threatened in 1998, according to the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN in its Case List of July to December 1998. Among the statistics for 1998, the WiPC records 17 writers or journalists killed and another 31 murders under investigation. There were 35 cases of judicial concern, where a journalist or writer was convicted at a trial that was "manifestly unfair, where there are serious concerns regarding allegations of torture or where there are other irregularities in the judicial process." Another 79 were sentenced or facing trial but not detained. However, 133 writers and journalists are reported to have been released, quite an increase from the year before. According to the WiPC, 15 writers and journalists disappeared, another seven cases of disappearance are under investigation, and one was kidnapped. Some 28 journalists and writers received death threats in 1998, 156 were attacked, and 12 others were "otherwise threatened." The WiPC records 64 main cases of writers or journalists persecuted because of their writing, and another 167 cases under investigation. For more information, contact the WiPC at 9/10 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7AT, United Kingdom, tel: +44 1 71 253 3226, fax: +44 1 71 253 5711, e-mail:
At least 24 journalists in 17 countries were murdered in reprisal for their reporting in 1998, says the twelfth annual report of the
A number of media were attacked during political violence in Paraguay, which culminated in the resignation of President Raúl Cubas Grau, reports the Sindicato de Periodistas del Paraguay (SPP). On the night of 26 March and the early morning of 27 March, four young people were killed and approximately 200 people injured, when snipers fired against demonstrators who had for several days been asking for the President's resignation. Luís González Macchi took over as President after Cubas resigned on 28 March and his military ally, former army chief Gen. Lino Oviedo, fled to Argentina. News reports allege that Oviedo was heavily involved in running the government and was responsible for the killings of the demonstrators and the assassination of Vice President Luis Maria Argaña last week.
Journalists across Peru have been attacked and threatened with death, report the Institute for Press and Society (IPYS) and the human rights section for Latin America of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Peru. On 18 March, Radio Marañon journalist José Luis Linares Altamirano, was shot by two hooded assailants in his home in Jaen, Cajamarca, in northeastern Peru. Linares is the director of two radio programmes, one in which he reads press releases and a romantic one named "Punto Corazon". IPYS reports, "The bullets pierced Linares' small intestine and injured part of one of his kidneys, as a result of which he is fighting for his life." Etalo Salazar, chief of programming for Radio Marañon, told IPYS "this attack is part of a systematic campaign against journalists, particularly journalists working with this broadcaster, given that three months ago they began to receive threatening telephone calls, apparently in response to their critical stance on issues such as human rights violations and the environment."
The independent media have suffered dramatically since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began bombing Serbia and Kosovo last week, report the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) and other IFEX members. Journalists, writers and media workers have been murdered, or arrested and deported, while other independent media have been closed or burnt down in Serbia and Kosovo.