Volker Kraemer

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Attacks on the Press   |   Argentina, Australia, Colombia, East Timor, Indonesia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macedonia, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Yugoslavia

Attacks on the Press 1999: 1999 Death Toll: Listed by Country

[Click here for full list of documented cases]


At its most fundamental level, the job of a journalist is to bear witness. In 1999, journalists in Sierra Leone witnessed rebels' atrocities against civilians in the streets of Freetown. In the Balkans, journalists watched ethnic Albanians fleeing the deadly menace of Serbian police and paramilitaries. In Indonesia, they recorded the violence of Indonesian-backed militias against supporters of political independence. Some who wrote about what they witnessed ended up dying because of the stories they told.

  |   Yugoslavia

Attacks on the Press 1999: Yugoslavia

President Slobodan Milosevic first used the threat of war, then an actual war, and finally international hostility toward his regime to justify the use of government censorship and crippling fines to decimate Serbia's various independent media.

The press crackdown was particularly brutal in Kosovo, where a 1998 military offensive by the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) triggered massive Serbian government repression of ethnic Albanians. At the beginning of 1999, Albanian-language media suffered through a series of hostile tax and fire inspections. In March, as NATO air strikes grew imminent, authorities in Belgrade imposed enormous fines on several media outlets under the Serbian Information Law. The law, passed in October 1998, allows the Serb government to fine and ban media outlets deemed to foment "fear, panic, and defeatism."

Alerts   |   Yugoslavia

CPJ Alert: German journalists killed in Kosovo

June 14, 1999 -- Two German journalists on assignment in Kosovo were fatally shot by unidentified gunmen on June 13 just outside Dulje, some 25 miles south of the provincial capital Pristina.


Veteran photographer Volker Kraemer, 56, died on the scene, while 35-year-old Gabriel Gruener, an experienced Balkans correspondent, expired en route to a hospital in Tetova, Macedonia. The two journalists worked for the Hamburg-based  Stern newsweekly.

June 14, 1999 12:00 AM ET

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  |   Yugoslavia

Volker Kraemer

Volker Kraemer, 56, a photographer, and Gabriel Gruener, 35, a correspondent, were on assignment in Kosovo for the German magazine Stern. The two journalists and their interpreter, Senol Alit, were returning by car to Macedonia when they encountered sniper fire outside Dulje, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Pristina. The journalists tried to flee on foot and were hit at long range. Kraemer was killed instantly by a shot to the head; Groener was hit in the abdomen and died in a helicopter while being taken to a hospital in Tetovo, Macedonia. Alit, who was driving the car, was also killed. His body was found lying next to the car.
June 13, 1999 12:00 AM ET

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  |   Yugoslavia

Gabriel Gruener

Volker Kraemer, 56, a photographer, and Gabriel Gruener, 35, a correspondent, were on assignment in Kosovo for the German magazine Stern. The two journalists and their interpreter, Senol Alit, were returning by car to Macedonia when they encountered sniper fire outside Dulje, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Pristina. The journalists tried to flee on foot and were hit at long range. Kraemer was killed instantly by a shot to the head; Groener was hit in the abdomen and died in a helicopter while being taken to a hospital in Tetovo, Macedonia. Alit, who was driving the car, was also killed. His body was found lying next to the car.
June 13, 1999 12:00 AM ET

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