Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Philippines 13 November 2004

Press photographer gunned down by lone sniper on Jolo island

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the fatal shooting of news photographer Gene Boyd Lumawag by a lone sniper yesterday while on assignment for the local news agency Mindanews on Jolo island, an Islamist bastion in the southern Philippines. The gunman escaped and no arrests were made.

Lumawag’s death brought to nine the number of journalists killed in the course of their work so far this year in the Philippines, making it the world’s most dangerous country for the press after Iraq.

"Once again we are dismayed by the death of a journalist in the Philippines," Reporters Without Borders said. "The investigations into each of these terrible murders must be pursued to the end if they are to stop. As in the other case, the authorities must explore all leads and the police must be given all the resources they need to find out who killed Lumawag."

Aged 26, Lumawag was preparing a report on Aid al-Fitr, the Muslim festivity that marks the end of Ramadan. He was hit by a 45mm bullet in the forehead as he was heading towards the pier in the town of Jolo to photograph the sunset. He was working with another journalist from Mindanao island who was managed find refuge in a church and was not hurt.

Army investigators told Mindanews they thought the shooting was the work of members of an "urban terrorist group" linked to Abu Sayyaf, an Islamist group fighting for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines. Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for many attacks and kidnappings and is alleged by both the Philippine and US authorities to be linked to Al-Qaeda.

In this country
22 May - Philippines
A journalist on army target list, another shot, possibly by soldier
6 March - Philippines
Second journalist in a week narrowly escapes murder attempt
23 February - Philippines
Radio journalist gunned down on Mindanao island
5 January - Philippines
Radio show host comes under fire near his home
3 December - Philippines
Second Radyo Natin presenter gunned down in less than a month

in the annual report
Philippines - Annual report 2008
Philippines - Annual report 2007
Philippines - Annual report 2006

4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised