Issue 403, November 1, 2018
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister Trade and Export Growth David Parker should be applauded for condemning in the ‘strongest of terms’ the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The brutal murder of an outspoken scribe inside the diplomatic mission of his own country in Istanbul raises several questions over the value of human life and extent to which the so-called ‘Saudi Operatives’ have gone to show their intolerance.
Threats are not new to journalists, although every country in the world provides people the means to address their grievances. Until recently, journalists (this Editor included) have been subject to verbal and anonymous written threats but the increasing number of murders are making Journalism a hazardous profession.
New Zealand is a safe haven for journalists, but our profession is under serious threat in many other parts of the world. In India, which is the world’s largest democracy boasting a free press, no less than 25 journalists murdered since 1992, two of them this year alone.
Murder of female scribes
Gauri Lankesh, who was known to us, was murdered in front of her house in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017, apparently for her staunch opposition of right-wing Hindu extremists.
About two weeks ago (October 16, 2018), Daphne Caruana Galizia, a controversial journalist and blogger, was killed by a bomb that destroyed her rental car in Malta. Although Maltese politics is deeply polarised, political violence and intimidation of journalists are rare.
Ms Galizia was a critic of the ruling Labour government.
South East Asia Scene
According to media reports, the past twelve months have been particularly grim for journalists and bloggers in South East Asia. From beatings in Vietnam to arrests in Myanmar, censorship in Thailand to punitive laws in Malaysia, authoritarian regimes are tightening the muzzles over their people’s mouths,” the Economist says.
However, we hope that these developments would not deter investigative journalists to exercise restraint. We are confident that true scribes will continue to speak and write the truth, just as the way it should be.
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