Some Journalists Still Waiting to be ‘Free at Last’

Nosir Zokirov, a reporter for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Uzbek Service in Uzbekistan, is serving a six-month prison term for allegedly insulting a security officer. According to Radio Free Europe, Zokirov was tried without defense counsel or examination of witnesses.

Ching Cheong, chief correspondent for China at Singapore daily newspaper The Straits Times, was arrested in China and charged with spying. Family and colleagues have not been able to contact him since his April 2005 arrest and no trial date has been set.

And Prahlad Goala, an Indian journalist for the daily Asomiya Khabar, was murdered last week after writing a series of articles on corruption within the local forestry service.

Today, according to Reporters Without Borders, there are 122 journalists in prison, as well as 62 Internet journalists and activists. Goala is the year’s only death so far, which we can add to the 181 others killed since 2002.

Monday is Martin Luther King Day in the United States. If you are observing the holiday, and even if you are not, please take a moment and remember those who are still waiting to be free, to live free, to work free and without fear – at last.

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