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UzbekistanIslam Karimov
President

(JPEG) President Karimov likes to call foreign journalists “agitators,” even “terrorists,” and since 2005 has worked assiduously to make it impossible for foreign media to operate in the country. But most of his media victims since he came to power in 1989 have been local journalists. He eliminated all opposition and independent media outlets in the course of crushing a revolt in the eastern city of Andijan in May 2005. He has the brutal habits of a former Soviet functionary and his victims, including critical journalists, disappear, are confined to mental hospitals or are arbitrarily thrown in prison. He said in 1999 he was “prepared to rip off the heads of 200 people, to sacrifice their lives, in order to preserve peace and tranquillity.” Karimov was ubiquitous in the state media during his campaign to be reelected in December 2007. The state television, in particular, constantly stressed his merits and credited him with all the country’s “successes.” Running against three low-profile rival candidates, he won 88 per cent of the vote.

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Predators
There are instigators and powerful people behind press freedom violations whose responsibility is not always apparent. Whether presidents, ministers, chiefs of staff, religious leaders or the heads of armed groups, these predators of press freedom have the power to censor, imprison, kidnap, torture and, in the worst cases, murder journalists. To better expose them, Reporters Without Borders has produced these portraits.

Armed Islamist groups
Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan
Ilham Aliev
Azerbaijan
Alexander Lukashenko
Belarus
Than Shwe
Burma
Hu Jintao
China
Diego Fernando Murillo Bejarano
Colombia
FARC
Colombia
Raúl Castro
Cuba
Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Equatorial Guinea
Issaias Afeworki
Eritrea
Yahya Jammeh
Gambia
Ali Khamenei
Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran
Israeli Defence Forces
Israel
Nursultan Nazarbayev
Kazakhstan
Choummaly Sayasone
Laos
Muammar Gaddafi
Libya
Star Force Police
Maldives
Drug cartels
Mexico
Armed groups
Nepal
State Security Service (SSS)
Nigeria
Kim Jong-il
North Korea
The Executive Force
Palestinian territories, Gaza Strip
Palestinian Security Forces
Palestinian Territories, West Bank
Vladimir Putin
Russia
Paul Kagame
Rwanda
Abdallah Ibn al-Saud
Saudi Arabia
Mohamed Dhere and Mohamed Warsame Darwish
Somalia
Al-Shabaab
Somalia
ETA
Spain
Gotabhaya Rajapakse, Defence secretary
Sri Lanka
Bashar el-Assad
Syria
Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali
Tunisia
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Turkmenistan
Nong Duc Manh
Vietnam
Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe