Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What about the rest?

All throughout the day I watched news channels giving themselves a pat on the back for a job well done and how media has played such an important role (emphasis added) in ensuring justice in the Priyadarshini Mattoo case.

I acknowledge the fact that without constant media pressure and the efforts of support groups which were persistent in demanding justice in this case this would not be possible. The media has definitely played a vital role which is now called a 'landmark verdict'.

I just have one question for the media, what about the rest?

The fact is this story was picked up because it had potential. I do not wish to undermine the seriousness of the issue, but this tragic event made for compelling news. A young promising girl, full of hope and dreams was wronged in the most heinous way by Santosh Singh, a retired IPS officer's son. The perpetrator is now sentenced to death. Would this case have reached its logical conclusion if it was not a high profile case?

What about similar cases which I am sure exist in abundance and have no hope of even brought to trial. If Ramgad ka Ramu committed the same crime would the media still be interested in telling say a Sunita's story. Without the trappings of high profile people being involved there is no drama for the media to thrive on. Nobody cares if an unknown entity, I understand there are many who have been grossly wronged, would ever receive even a semblance of justice in his or her life.

What about the bigger picture. Does the media propose to take up every case in which common people are denied justice and where the aggressors are influential people? Why only Jessica Lal murder case and the Nitish Katara case are brought into focus? What about thousands of cases lying on the bench never to see the light of day.

The answer to this is obvious. Some would argue that it is not the job of the media to ensure fair investigation and speedy justice, we already have agencies to do that. That is exactly my point.

It took 10 years to reach a verdict in a case where the judge had previously ruled that "he had no doubt" the act was committed by Singh but was forced to "acquit him due to lack of evidence". It is an opportunity to take stock of our judicial capabilities in terms of quality and quantity. Also, the investigating officers who compromised the case must be brought to book.

By being jubilant over what I can safely call a minuscule victory, delayed due to judicial lethargy, only because the media chose to emphasize this case would be an insult to those who yearn for their rights. Is justice only for the higher ups or those who are "blessed" enough to get the apparent media midas touch?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Inside : India Questions

An exercise in visual media marketing, India questions is timed close to the release of Don. If one remembers that a similar “debate” was held after KANK released on NDTV’s ‘We the people with Barkha Dutt’. How valid is this current trend in news channels, well that’s subjective. The following programme might as well be just that.

In his introduction Dr. Pranoy Roy rightly said that there is so much known about SRK in the public domain, one is at loss when it comes to asking him questions. “Your life is an open book” and that too literally and figuratively.

So yes it is true. He is humble, articulate, ‘chilled out’, hyperactive and just about everything that you have heard in countless interviews. (We couldn’t confirm the gay thing, obviously). The show was supposed to begin at 12.30 but like he has confessed in a previous interview with Vir Sanghvi, SRK true to his word walks in 2 hours later. The most frustrating part about this was the fact that it was being taped at Mehboob studios, two minutes away from the grand mansion that he calls home. But the audience, mostly comprising of journo students and college crowd didn’t seem to mind.

Pranoy Roy arrived probably an hour before Shah Rukh did. He is a lot smaller in person than what I initially thought. A comfortable ease surrounds him, a nonchalant awareness of sorts. NDTV announced its projections for the next quarter and an aim of taking their business to $500 million in10 years. This man, at the helm of it all seems too honest and genuine a journalist to be burdened by the trappings of creating a media empire.

And then the Don makes an entrance with the music from the movie being played in the background, well not so much of an entrance really. Bodyguards in tow, surrounded by hordes of people, dressed casually in blue jeans and a checkered brown shirt (cleavage on display, why-o-why!) I couldn’t believe that it was him. He appears a lot smaller in person and a lot “normal” too. The girls were swooning by now and some guys also, with a distant sigh I could hear words like “so cute” “wow” “is it really him”… I couldn’t see what the fuss was about, but his impact as an entertainer, an enigma was apparent in the way the crowd and just about everyone was reacting around me. It is impossible to ignore the man, even if you are a determined cynic at war with the influence of pop-culture.

He is called destiny’s child and is truly blessed, I must say, because I just can’t see why this very charismatic yet ‘normal’ looking guy is the King of a multi-billion dollar industry. A casual aura surrounds him as if he is completely oblivious to his concomitant reality.

As the interview begins I can see why both these gents are so affable and loved all across the country. The genuineness and honesty is highly infectious and an immediate connection is made with the audience.

The initial questions are routinely generic but my friend fires one at SRK (my question mind you) that in spite of being a smoker he launched a Biocon anti-cancer product recently. His answer is much more calculated than probably what he would have said five years back, but honest none the less. He categorically derides smoking as a bad habit, “I am trying to quit” and mentions the loss of his father to cancer which made him endorse the cause.

When asked about him being overtly diplomatic when it comes to commenting on his co-actors he replied and which I consider a true definition of SRK in his private life, “I am just a wise-guy!” He does seem to be the cool friend that everyone would want to hang out with.

The questions are dealt with a characteristic smile and the twinkle in the eye, which makes you wonder, what is he going to say next. He confesses to being tone deaf, musically inert and admits that he likes making comedies a lot including the forgettable ‘Babloo’ and other such zany characters.

What was most revealing about his personality is the way he perceives life and his job (as “just another 9 to 6 shift” Ya right!). The passion for his work is omnipotent and that is the secret to his unparalleled success today. He best describes it as being a child with many ideas and unbridled enthusiasm which his directors just cannot ignore. He reiterates the often heard “Do whatever that you wish but do it with passion”, a mantra that he clearly follows in his own life.

“Nothing better than honesty and goodness to achieve your goals…with a bit of patience…” is his advice to youngsters. I don’t know how much of it would hold true in SRK’s professional life but it does seem to be a norm for SRK the person.

The show couldn’t end without the wily doctor perpetrating a jig to which the marketable star willingly obliged. He danced to 'Khaike' along with some auidience members and made it look effortless.

As the crowd rushes to the makeshift stage, Shah Rukh is completely swamped, probably groped and molested too; the bodyguard then somehow manages to extract the prized possession.

He smoked two cigarettes for those eager to keep a count. If you watch the show, the cigarette pack is in his left shirt pocket. Also, he is quite restless as a person, fidgety as if always in a hurry. He spun around in his swivel chair. It is this boyish quality which makes him one of us, relatable.

Sorry Nessi didn’t get an autograph, but I did find out that SRK at the end of the day is a nice guy. My friend, who had a chance to go on stage during the Hindi version of the show, apologized for being brash earlier. Shah Rukh HUGGED HIM and said “God bless you” with a peck on the cheek (?!)

Watch India Questions this Saturday, 21 Oct on NDTV 24/7.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Here is a list of links which you may find useful to better understand RTI Act, 2005.

  • Right2Information

  • Ministry of public grievances

  • Maharashtra govt.

  • human rights initiative

  • Municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai

  • Mumbai RTI laws.pdf

  • ******
    Another example of RTI at work.
    Aware citizen Ronald Rebello asks Min of petroleum and natural gas to respond to the rampant misuse of its LPG licience by the Railway authorities themselves.

    This is the RTI petition he had filed and still awaits reply.

    Mr. R. Panda
    Maharashtra state level co-ordinator
    Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas


    I had sent the following application under the Right to Information to you on 7th September per Courier which was received by your office the next day. However, now it is more than one month and I have not received a reply which is mandatory under the Right to Information. Please show cause why I should not approach higher authroties so that you may be fined as per the Right to Information Act, 2005 for not providing information . You are hereby called upon to furnish the information within 72 hours of receipt of this E-notice.
    Fail not.

    Ronald L. Rebello
    Rationing Kruti Samiti
    Add: 52, Gilder Lane Municipal School,
    Opposite Mumbai Central Railway Station
    Mumbai Central 400 008.


    Copy to:
    1.. Print and Electronic Media.
    2.. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. What is the point if your Ministry issues so many advertisments running into lakhs of rupees in the newspapers, seeking co-operation of citizens to expose misuse of LPG, if your officials can't respond to a complaint purusant to the same?
    3.. Department of Public Grievances in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: rksmumbai@hotmail.com ; Rationing Kruti Samiti
    Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 10:04 PM
    Subject: LPG RTI


    The Public Information Officer 7th September, 2006.

    Bharat Petroleum,

    Ballard Estate, Mumbai Mumbai.

    1.. Full name of the applicant: Ronald L. Rebello

    2.. Address: 52, Gilder Lane Municipal School,

    Opposite Mumbai Central Railway Station,

    Mumbai 400 008.

    3.. Particulars of the information required:

    (1) Subject matter of information: Misuse of LPG domestic gas cylinders for commercial purposes.

    (2) Period of which the information relates to: Jan 2006 till date of receipt of this application.

    (3) Description of the information required:

    The undersigned applicant had complained via email to your department on September 04 citing instances of misuse of LPG cylinders for commercial purpose. The complaint was emailed on pandark@bharatpetroleum.in that is regularly advertised in newspapers by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for reporting complaints on black misuse of LPG and Subsidised Kerosene.

    Now therefore under my right to information, I want a pointwise reply as under:

    1.. What action was taken on my complaint? Give detailed description of action such as the enquiry if any, date and time of raid conducted, if any, names and designation of the officials who conducted the raid, the cases registered against the offendors and the law under which arrests were made, if any. If no enquiry or action was taken, why not?

    2.. Why no one was picking up the phone on 5th September at 11:41 am, when I called from 6524 1968? What is the name and designation of the officer who handles these complaints via phone as well as email?

    3.. Is the number provided by you operated 24 hours? If not, then mention the duration of hours it is operated.

    I state that the information sought does not fall within the restrictions contained in section 8 of the RTI Act and to the best of my knowledge it pertains to your office.

    If the information requested doesn�t pertain to your office, under section 6 (3) (ii) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 you are duty-bound to transfer the application or part thereof to the appropriate authority / department and inform me within 5 days of such transfer.

    Under section 7 (9) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 �information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought�. Therefore, the undersigned applicant would like to have the above information in question and answer format and in English. Please note, that in case of reply in language other than English, the reply would be appealed against.

    Provide details of the Appellate Authority such as Name, designation, address, phone, fax and email, so that I can appeal if dissatisfied.

    Requisite fees shall be paid if it is reasonable and in accordance with rules.

    Information required by ordinary post. Copy by email will be appreciated.

    Ronald L. Rebello

    Email: yoursfrankly@rediffmail.com



    Place : Mumbai

    Date : 7th September, 2006.

    Enclosure: Copy of complaint sent by email.

    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Rationing Kruti Samiti

    To: pandark@bharatpetroleum.in

    Sent: Monday, September 04, 2006 2:39 PM

    Subject: complaint on misuse of LPG, as per your AD


    Maharashtra Incharge (LPG complaints)

    Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,

    Sub: Complaint of misuse of domestic LPG for non-domestic purposes.

    Re: Your regular advertisments in the newspapers.

    Dear Sir,

    Further to your advertisements appearing regulary on requesting citizens to point out misuse of doestic LPG for Non-domestic purposes, I hereby point out the following places where you can conduct raids and arrest the persons responsible.

    1.. At Mumbai Central Railway Station, the Railway canteen on platform number 4, uses the domestic LPG cylinders for commercial purposes. When I questioned them, they tried to defend saying that the railways sends it to them. They even confidently stated that the Railways provide more than 100 cylinders to all such eating shops on railway premises in Mumbai. Therefore, such a thing needs to be investigated at the earliest.

    2.. Outside Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Vile Parle (West), the local dosa hawker uses domestic LPG for commercial purposes in gross violation of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Control Order, 2001.

    Hereby, acting on my complaint, you are enjoined to conduct the raids as per law.

    You may contact me on ------------------------- for further details.

    Ronald L. Rebello

    Rationing Kruti Samiti

    52, Gilder Lane Municipal School,

    Opposite Mumbai Central Railway Station,

    Mumbai Central 400 008.

    Email: rksmumbai@hotmail.com


    Copy to: Print and electronic media to investigate

    the above complaint and to specifically see

    if Railway's itself is misusing subsidised LPG.

    Right To Information

    The Right To Information Act,2005 is an essential piece of legislature that everyone must be aware of. It does not matter what stream you are in or if you do not intend to ever use it in your lifr. I think it is absolutely imperative that every Indian must have the basic knowledge about it. Empower yourselves.

    Ronald Rebello, a social activist and founder of Justice corps (an organisation working for judicial reforms) and a part of Rationing Kruti Samiti was kind enough to share his RTI application with me.

    This is a follow up on his initial petition that was not answered by the concerned authority. It is an excellent example of how RTI has the potential to empower common people, you and I.

    Please do take a look at the RTI petition carefully, it may be of use to you someday. It is important that a hackneyed system is made accountable for its decisions and functioning.


    The Public Information Officer
    (Through the email of Principal Secretary - Food and Civil Supplies Department)
    Mantralaya, Mumbai

    Please refer to the following application sent to you per courier that was received by your office on 8th September, 2006. It is more than one month now that you have not provided any information under the application nor have replied to it. You are therefore called upon to provide the said information within 72 hours of receipt of this email, failing which I shall approach the appealate authority that will make you liable to a fine under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

    Therefore fail not.

    Ronald L. Rebello
    Rationing Kruti Samiti
    Add: 52, Gilder Lane Municipal School,
    Opposite Mumbai Central Railway Station
    Mumbai Central 400 008.

    Copy to:
    1.. Print and Electronic Media, Mumbai.
    2.. Advisor to Supreme Court Commissioner in PUCL v. UOI (WP 196/2001)



    The Public Information Officer

    Department of Food and Civil Supplies September 05, 2006.

    Maharashtra Government, Mantralaya, Mumbai.

    I.. Full name of the applicant : RONALD REBELLO

    II.. Address: 52, Gilder Lane Municipal School, Opposite Mumbai Central Railway Station. Mumbai 400 008.

    III.. Particulars of the information required:

    Subject matter of information: Ration Cards for homeless citizens.

    Period of which the information relates to: 1997 till date of receipt of this application.

    Description of information required: Rationing Kruti Samiti had filed public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court regarding ration cards and food entitlements to homeless citizens in 2004.

    Now therefore,

    1.. Please provide me the case number of this PIL / WP.

    2.. The number of hearings in the court so far and the dates of hearing that took place.

    3.. The copies of the orders / judgments passed in the matter.

    4.. Say, whether any action was taken by the state government in the matter pursuant to the court orders / judgements ? If yes, what action was taken?.

    5.. As per 23rd March 2004 GR, homeless families have to be issued ration cards? How many such cards have been issued to homeless families under this GR in Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Sangli, Nagpur and Pune?. List out as under:

    Sr. No. RO wise /Tahsil Number of cards

    Examples: 1. 26 D / 162 80

    1.. Pune 20

    6.. Which of the following cards are homeless families entitled to?

    i. Antyodaya card

    ii. BPL card (Yellow Card)

    iii. APL card (Orange Card)

    iv. White card

    v. Any other (mention type, period of validity, procedure for renewal etc)

    7.. What are the entitlements under the �homeless cards�? Whether the beneficiaries having �homeless cards� are entitled to foodgrains, Kerosene and Sugar on a consistent basis. Mention the quantity of entitlements available to homeless people.

    8.. Whether those possessing �homeless cards� have been given their entitlements uniformly so far? If not, why not?

    9.. Whether any applications for �homeless ration cards� are pending in any Rationing Offices in Mumbai? If yes, mention RO wise how many such applications are pending? Give reasons on why these applications are pending?

    9.. RO officials state that �It is a government policy that only if BPL beneficiaries do not lift grains, then only the homeless families will be provided food grains; surplus from BPL stock�. Verify if this is true. If true, quote the policy, decision maker, basis of such policy etc.

    10.. Give full details of appellate authority such as Name, Designation, address, phone, fax, email so that I can appeal in case I am dissatisfied with the information provided by you.

    IV.. I state that the information sought does not fall within the restrictions contained in section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and to the best of my knowledge it pertains to your office. If for any reason, it pertains to any other department, the Right to Information Act places an obligation on you to forward the same or part of the application to the appropriate department and intimate me within 5 days of such transfer.

    V.. Under the RTI, information shall be provided in the way it is sought. Hence, it is requested that the information be provided in question and answer format in the above manner.

    VI.. The requisite fees for this information will be paid, if in accordance with rules.

    Ronald L. Rebello

    Email: rksmumbai@rationingkrutisamiti.org


    Place : Mumbai

    Date : 05th September, 2006.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    India questions

    Tomorrow I will have the privilege of being a part of the audience at "India questions" , a NDTV feature where Pranoy Roy will interview King Khan, Shah Rukh Khan himself.

    I am not sure what is more exiting, an opportunity to ask questions to SRK or be in the presence of my icon, my idol Dr. Roy.

    It will be a learning experience for a young Journo like me. To observe both these individuals who have accomplished so much in their respective fields and that too at what they do best, interact with a live audience on camera, will be a treat.

    More on this when I post about my experience tomorrow or day after, as time permits.

    Watch this space for Inside: India Questions

    Remembering Anna

    It is said that the well being of an economy is reflected in the way the media is allowed to function. A robust independant press is a sign of a country's willingness to achieve or at least tend towards the ideal of 'the people' as a primary institution.

    Anna Politkovskaya's brutal murder only magnifies the strangle hold that the Putin administeration has on the press in Russia. Such a despicable act must be condemned world-wide.

    (Coincidentally, my muse for my initial fiction work was also named Anna)

  • Anna's Wiki Page

  • Chechnya : articles by Anna Politkovskaya

  • Guardian article

  • WAN-Press press release :

    Paris, 7 October 2006
    For immediate release

    World's Press Condemns Murder of Russian Journalist

    The World Association of Newspapers today condemned the 'shocking murder' of
    Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist.

    Ms Politkovskaya, a reporter for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was found dead
    Saturday afternoon from a bullet wound in the elevator of the building where
    she lived in Moscow.

    "This is tragic and deeply shocking news", said Timothy Balding, CEO of WAN.
    "We condemn this as an outrageous attack not only on a journalist but on
    freedom of the press and democracy in Russia. We call on the Russian
    authorities to pursue mercilessly the killer or killers and those behind
    this cowardly act".

    Mr Balding added: "There had been many skeptics in Russia, including other
    journalists, when Ms Politkovskaya said she was the victim of attempted
    poisoning by security forces on her way to cover the Beslan massacre two
    years ago. This assassination is terrible confirmation, if any were needed,
    that she was not inventing her claims that she was constantly under physical

    Ms Politkovskaya was celebrated internationally for her critical coverage of
    the war in Chechnya.

    She was the 76th journalists killed world-wide in 2006, the most deadly year
    since WAN began keeping records of journalist murders in 1997. The list of
    journalists killed world-wide can be found at
    http://www.wan-press.org/rubrique863.html .

    The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry,
    defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000
    newspapers; its membership includes 73 national newspaper associations,
    newspapers and newspaper executives in 102 countries, 11 news agencies and
    nine regional and world-wide press groups.

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Rack ruckus

    It must have been conceived by a very disturbed mind. Only a sadist can devise such a diabolical scheme which has the capacity to inflict pain across the spectrum of society. No one is spared as it is designed to cause maximum damage.

    As the trained moved in slowly towards the platform, adjusting the rather heavy bag on my shoulder I leaped towards the pole in the middle. An elbow free in its trajectory planted itself in my nonchalant right eye. Even as I entered in one piece, jostling with the crowd, I instinctively removed the bag off my shoulder. With my best faux Jordan stride I looked up to fling it on to the overhead rack. To my horror, the rack was gone.

    My fellow passengers smiled at my senile attempt to find a place for my bag. They smiled at my perplexity and empathized with my angst. Some even had a bemused expression on their faces, as if still reeling from the shock.

    A youngster brimming with mirth suggested that the racks were removed to encourage “socially acceptable distance” between two men in trains, a conspiracy to discourage probable gay intentions. As I smirked at the tirade my co-passenger enlightened me, the overhead racks were removed from that Virar to Churchgate local, and four others as a trial, for “security reasons”. This was an interesting. Were they trying to curb terrorism by removing rack from five trains? And importantly who were “they”?

    The overhead rack in a Mumbai local is an inseparable part of everyday travel for millions in the city. A pedestal of temporary respite where one can rest ones burden momentarily. It is a high point which encourages humanitarianism by providing an opportunity to people to help others. As bags of all grades are balanced on each other, a helping hand is always willing to stretch and make way for more items.

    The gent’s compartment desperate for any conversation has it own brand of ‘bag’ ice-breakers. A series of grunts directing the apt placement of the precious possession, capped with a barely audible “thank you”. Also, it serves as an excellent support to hold on to, as the train quivers uninitiated and almost flings you in a very precarious position. An embarrassment is thus averted.

    I am having visions of utmost distress. I foresee people standing in a cramped compartment with bags over their heads. Dabbas would spill due to constant agitation, staining the crisp white to a murky yellow. With both hands occupied, one cannot hold on to the handles above or protect their vitals below.

    An exasperating itch on the shoulder blade cannot be subdued. A projectile of saliva and mucus lands squarely on your cheek. As you brush it off it disgust, the culprit sniffling explains that he couldn’t cover his face in time. Indeed, it is a ghastly situation.

    Besides if a person wanted to plant a bomb, he can easily slip it below the seat. An underworld by itself infested with leftovers, lonely wrappers, scurrying arthropods and probably friendly leprechauns. Only the severely paranoid looks beneath the seat before sitting.

    Removing the last left bastion of communal harmony is hardly an answer to curb miscreants. How about better surveillance techniques, more railway guards or better yet, an approachable friendly enquiry system. This would go a long way in safeguarding out trains.
    The perpetrators of the 7/11 blast must be found quickly and brought to justice. They should be dealt without impunity and severely to serve as a deterrent to any such future designs.

    I humbly appeal to the powers that be to avert a crisis in the lives of millions traveling by the local trains by restoring our racks, just as they were. Let us be free, as we were meant to be.


    Journo death toll - 76.
    Another journo killed while performing her duty.

    Ms Politkovskaya, a reporter for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was found dead
    Saturday afternoon from a bullet wound in the elevator of the building where
    she lived in Moscow.

    Such acts must be vociferously condemned.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Worst year for journalists

    2006 now has the dubious distinction of being the year when the maximum number of journalists have been killed world-wide. The death toll this year stands at 75, significantly greater than 58 last year.

    As information becomes the driving force of this century's economy, the custodians of this immensely prized factor are under seige from various quarters. The have died performing their duty.

    This year has seen two major world conflicts uptil now. 26 of these deaths have taken place in Iraq, where journo's are severely pesecuted.

    It is alarming and we must take notice of this as a serious threat to freedom of thought and right to information.

    2 Indian journalists have died this year.

    The World Association of News Press release reads as follows:

    Record Number of Journalists Killed in 2006

    Seventy-five journalists have been killed so far this year, making 2006 the deadliest year for journalists on record, the World Association ofNewspapers said Thursday.

    Twenty-six of the deaths occurred in Iraq, where journalists continue to be targetted and murdered.

    The 75 journalists and other media workers killed through September makes 2006 the most deadly year since WAN began keeping records of journalist murders in 1997. Seventy-two journalists were killed in 2004.

    "Journalists in Iraq are not only facing the danger that comes with working in a war zone, they are being hunted down and assassinated simply because they are suspected of cooperating with western news agencies, because of their religious or political affiliation, or because their murderers believe that killing journalists will advance their aims," said Timothy Balding, CEO
    of the Paris-based WAN.

    "Journalism today is more dangerous than ever," he said. "More than 500 journalists have been killed in the past decade, often for simply doing their jobs. These murders are a direct attack not only on individuals, but also on society as a whole. Yet few of the killers are ever brought to justice."

    The Philippines, where criminal gangs and corrupt politicians have long been targetting investigative journalists without fear of prosecution, has seen eight journalists murdered so far in 2006.

    Journalists have been killed in 19 other countries this year: Afghanistan (1), Angola (2), Bangladesh (1), Brazil (1), China (2), Colombia (4), Democratic Republic of Congo (1), Ecuador (2), Guatemala (1), Guyana (6), India (2), Indonesia (1), Lebanon (2), Mexico (1), Pakistan (3), Russia (1), Somalia (1), Sri Lanka (5), Sudan (1), Turkmenistan (1) and Venezuela (2).

    The death toll compares with 58 killed in 2005, 72 killed in 2004, 53 killed
    in 2003, 46 killed in 2002, 60 killed in 2001, 53 killed in 2000, 70 killed
    in 1999, 28 in 1998, and 26 in 1997.

    Details of all the cases can be found on the WAN web site at
    http://www.wan-press.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=706 .

    (Editors please note: illustrations for this story are available at
    http://www.wan-press.org/article6661.html ).

    Several press freedom organisations track the number of journalists killed each year. The numbers vary based on the criteria used by different associations. WAN¹s figures include all media workers killed in the line of duty or targeted because of their work. It also includes cases where the motive for the killings is unsure or where investigations have not been

    The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry,defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 73 national newspaper associations, newspapers and newspaper executives in 102 countries, 11 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups.