Indian Editor "Brutally Murdered" as World Death Toll Reaches Century Mark

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) the global organisation of journalists, representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, has today condemned the brutal murder of an Oriya newspaper editor in India.

The horrific murder of 45-year-old Dilip Mohapatra editor of Aji Kagaj, on Tuesday, 9 November, is believed to be the 100th journalist killed worldwide in 2004.

According to reports, Mohapatra was found dead on the National Highway 42 near Bhagirathipur with his hands and legs bound with plastic tape and his skull smashed.

Mohapatra had been reported missing since Monday, 8 November. Police reported that he had been killed with sharp weapons and that his head injuries had been sustained either with a heavy object or he had been run over by a car.

"This gruesome murder of an Indian journalist is a bleak day for India and, indeed, for the whole world," said IFJ President Christopher Warren today.

"Not one journalist should die in the course of their duties, let alone 100," said Warren.

"But these deaths are not just about numbers: we must remember that for every journalist killed there are grieving family members, friends and colleagues for whom these murders will leave a lifelong hole," said Warren.

Police have detained one suspect in connection with the case and have suggested that the killing was planned and intentional.

The IFJ has received preliminary reports that his murder was connected to Mohapatra's work as a journalist relating to recent exposes run by the newspaper about the timber and narcotics mafia in the region.

"A free and independent media is only possible when journalists and media workers are free from violence and intimidation," said Warren.

For further information, contact Christopher Warren on +61 411 757 668

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries