There's No Censorship Quite like Murder; Foreign Born, They Died Violently in the USA as Journalists

By Hernandez, Debra Gersh | Editor & Publisher, August 13, 1994 | Go to article overview

There's No Censorship Quite like Murder; Foreign Born, They Died Violently in the USA as Journalists


Hernandez, Debra Gersh, Editor & Publisher


AMONG THE IMMIGRANT journalists killed on U.S. soil and featured in a report from the Committee to Protect journalists, eight are believed to be victims of political assassinations.

Between 1981 and 1990, five Vietnamese-American journalists were killed, attempts were made on the lives of three more, and others were victims of death threats, beatings and vandalism. A death squad called the Vietnamese Organization to Exterminate Communists and Restore the Nation has taken responsibility for most of the murders and violence.

Three Haitian radio journalists working in Miami were shot and killed between 1991 and 1993. All were outspoken supporters of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The murders have led other Haitian radio talk-show hosts to check what they say on the air and to watch their backs.

The following are their stories summarized from the CPJ report, due out in September, "Silenced: The Unsolved Murders of Immigrant Journalists in the United States."

* Duong Trong Lam was killed in front of his San Francisco apartment July 21, 1981. His advocacy of better relations with Hanoi was considered unacceptable. The death squad claimed responsibility. A Vietnamese man was charged with murder, but a mistrial was declared after a witness recanted his testimony. The case is unsolved.

* Nguyen Dam Phong left Vietnam in 1975 and published a small Houston weekly called Tu Do, Vietnamese for freedom. Phong criticized exile groups he believed were extorting money from immigrants under the guise of fighting communism in Vietnam. He received death threats before he was killed Aug. 24, 1982. A death list from the same group was found in his house. …

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