Journalists around the world faced a higher number of arrests, threats, attacks and acts of censorship in 2001 than the previous year, media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said.
In a report released Wednesday, the Paris-based group said that 489 journalists were arrested in 2001, up nearly 50 percent from a year ago.
As of New Year's Day, there were 110 journalists still being held in prisons around the world, with Iran, Myanmar, China, Eritrea and Nepal holding the largest numbers, the report said.
There were 31 journalists killed in 2001, which was one less than a year earlier. Asia was the most deadly continent for journalists, accounting for nearly half of the deaths. Eight reporters died in Afghanistan while covering the events that followed the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, the group said.
The number of journalists attacked or threatened last year rose to 716, a jump of nearly 40 percent from 2000. The largest numbers of attacks occurred in Bangladesh, Colombia and Zimbabwe.
Foreign correspondents faced tight controls in several countries, including Zimbabwe, Cuba, Liberia and China, the report said.
Another group, the Belgium-based International Federation of Journalists, said in a report issued Dec. 17 that as many as 100 news media staff were killed around the world in 2001.
The federation appeared to have used broader criteria for journalists, including on its list six broadcast engineers killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center (two of whom worked for WCBS-TV) and a photo editor who died of anthrax and others not listed by Reporters Without Borders.
©MMIII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
© 2002 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.