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Call to take action against brutality on journalists

Date Released: Tue, 9 September 2014 12:31 +0200

THE Eastern Cape government has called on the international community to take action against brutality on journalists.

Addressing media practitioners at the Highway Africa Journalism conference at Rhodes University at the
weekend, rural development and agrarian reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane bemoaned what he referred to as an "evil act" by some countries and militant groupings. Qoboshiyane was representing the provincial government at the event.

"As you meet here [Rhodes], a number of journalists have been killed in war zones, some arrested in countries like Egypt, Swaziland while others tortured in other countries.

"As the government, we call on Swaziland, Egypt, and any other country that arrests journalist to set them free now, unconditionally."

This comes a few days after two American journalists were killed by Iraq militant group in the war torn country.

On September 2, a video is released showing the gruesome beheading of 31-year-old American journalist Steven Sotloff.

It is reported that the killings is used as a sign of retaliation to US President Barrack Obama's decision to carry out air strikes in Iraq against the group.

Addressing a press briefing subsequent to Sotloff's killing, Obama said America was not intimidated by the
"terrorists' horrific acts".

"Whatever these murderers think they'll achieve by killing innocent Americans like Steven, they have already failed. They've failed because, like people around the world, Americans are repulsed by their barbarism.

"We will not be intimidated. Their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists," Obama said.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch on Monday, Qoboshiyane again condemned the brutality.

"Instead of being brutal to journalists, society must engage journalists about their work, disagree with
what they write, if needs be, agree with them if they want but on instances where what is reported by the media is correct, those responsible for it must fix what is wrong."

"As we fight this [brutality], we encourage the media to help us expose and bring to account all those responsible for fraud and corruption in our society because they delay our people's development,"
he said.

Statistics by the Committee to Protect Journalists show that about 1074 journalists have been killed worldwide since 1992 and 39% of these were killed in war related incidents.

Iraq rates number one out of the top 20 deadliest countries for journalists.

By Siphe Macanda 

Source: Daily Dispatch

Source:Daily Dispatch