Xu Xinghu

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When Mick Deane was killed in Egypt on Wednesday, he became the 1,000th journalist documented by CPJ as having died in direct relation to his work. The photos above, a sampling of those who have died over the past 21 years, serve as a powerful reminder of the cost of critical, independent journalism.

[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.

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."

May 13,, 1999 -- CPJ Update: Journalists Caught in the Crossfire The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a nonpartisan organization dedicated to safeguarding press freedom around the world, has documented further maltreatment of journalists by Yugoslav authorities, as well as new casualties of NATO's bombing campaign.


Ashes of Three Killed Journalists Returned to China

Shao Yunhuan, Xu Xinghu, and Zhu Ying, all Chinese nationals, were on assignment in Belgrade to report on the war between NATO and Serbian forces. They were killed during the night when NATO bombs hit the Chinese Embassy, where the journalists were staying. Shao was 48, Xu was 29, and Zhu was 27.
Shao Yunhuan, Xu Xinghu, and Zhu Ying, all Chinese nationals, were on assignment in Belgrade to report on the war between NATO and Serbian forces. They were killed during the night when NATO bombs hit the Chinese Embassy, where the journalists were staying. Shao was 48, Xu was 29, and Zhu was 27.
Shao Yunhuan, Xu Xinghu, and Zhu Ying, all Chinese nationals, were on assignment in Belgrade to report on the war between NATO and Serbian forces. They were killed during the night when NATO bombs hit the Chinese Embassy, where the journalists were staying. Shao was 48, Xu was 29, and Zhu was 27.

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