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East Timor

2003



Special Report: Aceh

Borrowing a page from the U.S. playbook, the Indonesian military is restricting and controlling coverage of their war in the restive province of Aceh.
The vicious murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan focused international attention on the dangers faced by journalists covering the U.S. "war on terror," yet most attacks on journalists in Asia happened far from the eyes of the international press. In countries such as Bangladesh and the Philippines, reporters covering crime and political corruption were as vulnerable to attack as those reporting on violent insurgency. Seven journalists were killed in 2002 for their work in Asia.
A decades-long struggle for independence ended on May 20, when the U.N. Transitional Authority for East Timor (UNTAET) formally handed power to East Timor's first elected government, making the tiny half-island state the first new nation of the millennium. A fledgling press has emerged from the destruction that followed the territory's vote for independence from Indonesia in 1999, and now the country has two daily newspapers, a handful of weeklies, and seven small private radio stations. Indonesia, which annexed East Timor in 1975 following the collapse of Portuguese colonial rule, did not tolerate an independent press.
Shortly after U.S. president George W. Bush arrived in South Korea's capital, Seoul, in February 2002 for a state visit, the North Korean state news agency, KCNA, reported a miracle: that a cloud in the shape of a Kimjongilia, the flower named after the country's leader, Kim Jong Il, had appeared over North Korea. "Even the sky above the Mount Paektu area seemed to be decorated with beautiful flowers," KCNA said. The piece was a whimsical effort to trump news of Bush's visit to the other side of the divided Korean peninsula, according to The New York Times.

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Killed in East Timor

2 journalists killed since 1992

1 journalist murdered

1 murdered with impunity

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