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For Immediate Release
March 12 1996

Contact:
Avner Gidron
(212) 465-1004 x105

Veteran Algerian Reporter Assassinated



NEW YORK -- The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a nonpartisan advocate of press freedoms, vigorously condemned today's murder of Djilali Arabdiou, a reporter and photographer with the pro-government weekly Algérie Actualité Arabdiou is the sixth journalist murdered in Algeria this year and the 58th victim of an ongoing campaign targeting the Algerian media for assassination.

"This murderous campaign against journalists in Algeria is the most lethal documented by CPJ in the last 10 years," said Avner Gidron, CPJ's research director.

Unidentified men shot and killed Arabdiou this morning in Ain Naadja, a southwestern suburb of Algiers. Arabdiou was considered the dean of Algerian photojournalists, his colleagues told CPJ. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. But Islamic fundamentalist rebels are presumed responsible. The Armed Islamic Group (GIA) has claimed responsibility for the bulk of journalists' slayings in Algeria.

As many as 40,000 people have died in the Algerian conflict. But the 58 journalists killed since May 1993 have all been deliberately targeted, not killed in cross fire, in a concerted campaign to assassinate secular intellectuals and professionals.

While the greatest threat to the journalistic profession comes from armed opponents of the government, the regime itself has done much to hinder the work of journalists. Last month Algerian editors were ordered by the government to submit all unofficial reports about violence to a censor. Newspapers are only allowed to carry stories about the security situation that have been supplied by the official Algerian Press Service. Since the army interrupted the electoral process in January 1992 to prevent a victory by the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in parliamentary elections, many independent journalists have been dragged to court, newspapers have been suspended, and the state's monopoly on printing has been used to intimidate publishers.

CPJ's annual report Attacks on the Press in 1995, which documents in detail the assassination of Algerian journalists by extremists and instances of government censorship of the press, will be released on March 14, in Washington, DC.

Attached is a list, documented by CPJ, of the 58 journalists killed in Algeria since May 1993.



58 JOURNALISTS KILLED IN ALGERIA

Armed Muslim fundamentalists are suspected of involvement in most of the following murders in Algeria:

1996

March 12: Unidentified men shot and killed Djilali Arabdiou, a reporter and photographer with the pro-government weekly Algérie Actualité in Ain Naadja, a southwestern suburb of Algiers.

Feb. 11: Allaoua Ait M'barak, editor in chief of the independent evening daily Le Soir d'Algérie; Mohamed Dorbane, a columnist with the paper; and Djamel Derraz, a writer with the paper's leisure section, were killed when a car bomb exploded outside their paper's office, in the Maison de la Presse Tahar Djaout, in Algiers.

Feb. 10: Abdallah Bouhachek, editor of Revolution et Travaille, weekly organ of Algeria's largest workers' union (UGTA), was shot and killed by unknown assailants near the town of Blida, south of Algiers.
He was on his way to work.

Jan. 9: Mohamed Mekati, a correspondent for the government-owned newspaper El Moudjahid, was shot by unidentified gunmen near his home in Ain Naadja, a southwestern suburb of Algiers, as he was returning from work. The 39-year-old reporter died of his injuries the following day.

1995

Dec. 5: Unidentified assailants shot and killed Khedidja Dahmani, a reporter for the independent, Arabic-language weekly Echourouk al-Arabi, near her home in Baraki, a suburb south of Algiers.

Dec. 2: Hamid Mahiout, a reporter for the independent, French-language daily Liberté, and his driver Ahmed Belkhefellah, were kidnapped and killed. Their decapitated bodies were found the next morning in Algiers' Rais Hamidou neighborhood.

Oct. 16: Saida Djebaili, a reporter for the independent, Arabic language El-Hayat el-Arabia daily newspaper, and her driver were shot and killed by unknown assailants in Algiers as she was returning from work.

Oct. 3: Omar Ouartilan, editor in chief of the Arabic-language, independent daily newspaper Al-Khabar, was shot and killed as he left his home in the Belcourt district of Algiers.

Sept. 9: Said Brahimi, a journalist with Algerian state television (ENTV), and his wife Radja, a television employee, were gunned down in the town of Cherarda, east of Algiers.

Sept. 4: Yasmina Brikh, a journalist for a cultural program on Algerian radio, was murdered near her home in the Eucalyptus section of Algiers.

Sept. 4: The body of Brahim Guaraoui, a cartoonist for the government-controlled daily El Moudjahid, was found near his home in Eucalyptus. He had been kidnapped from his home.

Sept. 3: Said Tazrout, Tizi-Ouzou bureau chief for the French-language daily Le Matin, was shot and killed outside his apartment building.

Aug. 20: Ameur Ouagueni, head of the international news department of the independent, French-language daily Le Matin, was shot and mortally wounded in front of his home in Algiers. He died later that night in hospital.

Aug. 2: The body of Naima Hamouda, a cultural reporter with the weekly Revolution Africaine, was discovered near the apartment building where she had been staying in the Algiers suburb of Saoula. She had been shot to death and was so badly disfigured that she was not properly identified until Aug. 11.

June 17: Ahmed Takouchet, a journalist with Radio Cirta of Constantine who was popularly known as "Hakim," was kidnapped from his home by four men. The next day his body was found with his throat slit.

May 27: Mourad Hmaizi, a reporter with Algerian television, was shot to death when gunmen ambushed his car in the Algiers suburb of Baraki on his way home from work.

May 22: Bakhti Benaouda, an academic and frequent contributor to the government-run daily El Djoumhouria, was gunned down by unknown assailants in the Delmonti quarter of the western city of Oran.

May 21: Malika Sabour, a cultural reporter for the independent weekly Echourouk al-Arabi, was shot dead in her home in Reghaia, about 25 km east of Algiers, by masked gunmen disguised as policemen.

May 15: Azzedine Saidj, editor in chief of the now defunct El Ouma, was found dead in his car with his throat slit about 15 km east of Algiers.

April 4: Mekhlouf Boukzer, a television sports commentator, was found dead near his home in Constantine, in eastern Algeria. His throat was slit.

March 27: Mohamed Abderrahmani, director-general of the government-run, French language daily El Moudjahid, was shot and killed in Algiers by unkown gunmen while on his way to work.

March 21: Ali Boukerbache, owner of Media-TV, a private television production company, was shot and killed east of Algiers.

March 20: Television reporter Rachida Hammadi was shot and critically wounded outside her parents' home near Algiers. Her sister, a secretary at the television station, was killed in the attack. Rachida died of her wounds in a Paris hospital on the night of March 30-31.

Feb. 17: Djamel Ziater, a reporter with the Oran-based, Arabic-language daily El Djoumhouria, was shot and killed as he was visiting his mother's grave at a cemetery outside Oran, in western Algeria.

Feb.1: Nacer Ouari, a television journalist, was killed near his home in the Algiers suburb of Sidi Moussa, as he was leaving for work, 10 days after the radical Armed Islamic Group (GIA) issued a communique threatening to execute all television and radio journalists.

Jan. 13: The body of Abdelhamid Yahiaoui, a journalist with the government-controlled Arabic daily El Chaab, was found near his home in Baraki with two bullet wounds in the head. Yahiaoui was abducted on Jan. 12 as he left his home to meet a friend.

Jan. 7: Ali Abboud, a journalist with state-owned Radio Chaine 1, was shot and seriously wounded in Algiers on the morning of Jan. 6. He was hospitalized and died of his wounds the next day.

Jan. 6: Zineddine Aliou Salah, a reporter for the independent French-language daily Liberté, was shot and killed in the morning as he was leaving his home in Blida, south of Algiers. According to his colleagues, Aliou Salah's name was on a death list displayed at mosques in Blida.



1994

Dec. 3: Said Mekbel, editor in chief of the independent French-language daily Le Matin, was shot in the head by unknown assailants as he ate lunch in a restaurant in downtown Algiers, near his paper's offices. He went into a coma and died of his wounds the next morning at Ain-Naadja Hospital. Mekbel had survived previous assassination attempts, including one on March 8, 1994. The Armed Islamic Group claimed responsibility for his murder.

Nov. 30: Ahmed Issaad, a reporter for Algerian state television, and Nasseredine Lekhal, a reporter for the state-owned Arabic-language daily El Massa, were killed in Boufarik, about 30 km south of Algiers. The two journalists had been forced from their homes by gunmen, who then shot and beheaded them, according to Algerian television.

Oct. 27: Mohamed Salah Benachour, a reporter for the official Algerian Press Service (APS), was shot and killed near his home in Boufarik, south of Algiers, as he was returning from work.

Oct. 20: Farah Ziane, the editor of the weekly Revolution Africaine, was shot and killed outside his home in Blida, south of Algiers.

Oct. 16: Tayeb Bouterfif, a journalist with the government's Berber-language radio station, was fatally shot outside his home in the suburb of Baraki, south of Algiers.

Oct. 12: Lahcene Bensaadallah, director of El Irshad, a publication affiliated with the moderate Islamic party Hamas, was shot and killed outside his home in the Badr section of Algiers.

Sept. 25: Smail Sbaghdi, a journalist with the official Algerian Press Service (APS), was killed in Algiers while riding in a taxi. The body of Mouloud Barroudi, a cameraman with the National Agency of Filmed News, was found near his home, west of Algiers. He had been killed with a knife.

July 21: Unidentified men shot and killed Mohamed Lamine Legoui, a correspondent of the official APS news agency, outside his home in Bou-Saada, in the M'Sila region. There were no witnesses to the murder.

July 10: A group of men in police uniforms stopped Yasmina Drici, a proofreader with the French-language daily Le Soir d'Algérie, and a Polish friend as they were driving near Drici's home in the Algiers suburb of Rouiba. Drici objected when the men removed her friend from the car. The men then searched Drici's pocketbook and discovered her press card. Her Polish friend was released. The next day police found Drici's body with her throat slit.

June 7: Ferhat Cherkit, adjunct editor in chief of the government-run daily El Moudjahid, was shot and killed in downtown Algiers.

April 13: Mohamed Meceffeuk, a reporter with the weekly Detective, was gunned down in a town west of Algiers.

March 21: Madjid Yacef, a photojournalist, was shot and killed by gunmen in a raid on the office of l'Hebdo Libéré, an independent weekly where he worked. A driver for the paper was also killed, and three other employees were seriously injured in the raid.

March 19: Yahia Djamel Benzaghou, a journalist with the Prime Minister's press office, was gunned down outside his home in Bab El Oued.

March 5: Hassan Benaouda, a television journalist, was shot in the head by unidentified assailants in the Casbah section of Algiers. He died of his wounds a week later.

March 1: Mohamed Hassaine, a reporter for the daily Alger Republicain, was kidnapped from his home in Blida district. The director of Alger Republicain later told CPJ that Hassaine's decapitated body was subsequently found.

Feb. 28: Abdelkader Hireche, a television journalist, was assassinated by three gunmen in an eastern suburb of Algiers.

Feb. 1: Olivier Quemener, a free-lance journalist from France, was shot and killed while filming in the Casbah section of Algiers.

1993

Dec. 27: Youcef Sebti, a poet and free-lance journalist who contributed to El Watan and other Algiers-based publications, was murdered at the National Institute for Agronomy where he taught and resided.

Oct. 18: Smail Yefsah, assistant news director of Algerian television, was stabbed and then shot to death outside his home in Bab Ezzouar in Algiers.

Oct. 14: Mustapha Abada, former director of Algerian state television (replaced in August 1993), was shot and killed in Ain Taya, near Algiers.

Oct. 5: Djamel Bouhidel, a photographer with the weekly Nouveau Tell, was killed in Blida, west of Algiers.

Sept. 28: Abderrahmane Chergou, a former journalist and official of the leftist PAGS party, was stabbed to death outside his home in the Algiers suburb of Mohammedia.

Sept. 9: Saad Bakhtaoui, a journalist with El-Minbar, organ of a small political party, was kidnapped and shot to death.

Aug. 9: Abdelhamid Benmeni, a journalist with the newsweekly Algérie-Actualité, was killed at his home.

Aug. 3: Rabah Zenati, a television journalist, was killed by unknown gunmen outside his parents' home in a suburb of Algiers.

May 26: Tahar Djaout, editor in chief of the weekly cultural publication Ruptures, was shot by Muslim militants outside his home near Algiers. He died of his wounds on June 2. Djaout, who won the prestigious Prix Méditerranée in 1991 for his novel Vigiles, had received several death threats.

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