A number of countries are dangerous to travel to for a variety of reasons. Some pose immediate threats to life and liberty. Others are dangerous because of high crime rates in cities, risky legal systems, potential terrorist activity, few health facilities, and extremely different customs and practices that may endanger the unwary traveller.
In 1993, a cycling couple were captured by Kurdish rebels whilst exploring a lake in eastern Turkey. There had been several other incidents of kidnapped tourists who were used to gain publicity for the rebel cause and released unharmed. Other countries advised at that time as very dangerous for travellers were war zones: Iraq, Libya, Bosnia, Nigeria and Somalia. Caution was recommended for safety or health reasons in many other countries, for example Burundi in central Africa was experiencing an outbreak of meningitis and Florida a spate of muggings. The USA State Department in 1989 listed nine countries as extremely dangerous and 25 as potentially dangerous. In 1992, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported the following countries were especially hazardous to the press: Turkey (executions), Bosnia-Herzegovina (civil war), India (riots and separatist conflicts), China (arbitrary imprisonment), Haiti (military dictatorship), Sri Lanka (political factionalism), Peru and Venezuela (coups), Cameroon and Zaire (repressive political autocracy), and Algeria (repressive secular regime).