The First International Day to End Impunity for crimes against journalists has been marked by a series of meetings and conferences internationally. The United Nations General Assembly declared November 2nd as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163. This historic resolution call upon all Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity and condemns all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. It also urges the Member States to put their maximum effort to prevent violence against journalists and media workers and to bring the culprits who committed crimes against journalists and media workers to justice. The resolution further urges Member States to cater a safe environment for journalists and media workers where they can work independently without any harm.
On 29 October Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)released its annual Global Impunity Index, ranking the countries where the murder of journalists goes unsolved.
For this report, CPJ examined the murder of journalists between September 1, 2008, and August 31, 2018.Countries with five or more unsolved cases made the index. According to CPJ, it “defines murder as a deliberate attack against a specific journalist in relation to the victim's work.”
In its eleventh report, which ranks states with the “worst records of prosecuting the killers of journalists”, CPJ says that “a lack of justice in the murders of journalists creates an entrenched climate of censorship”. “In the past decade, at least 324 journalists have been silenced through murder worldwide and in 85 percent of these cases, no perpetrators have been convicted. It is an emboldening message to those who seek to censor and control the media through violence,” the report states.
According to CPJ, this year, Somalia, Iraq, South Sudan, Philippines, Pakistan, Russia and Nigeria have improved. The rating of Syria, Mexico, Brazil and India got worse. Both nations Afghanistan and Colombia after fallen off the index in recent years, rejoin the list of offenders on this year’s list.
The list, according to CPJ, calculates the impunity rating based on unsolved murders in the past 10 years as a percentage of that country’s population. The 14 countries that made this year’s CPJ list are:
How many journalists have been killed so far in 2018?
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), so far at least 43 journalists have been killed in 2018. The figure includes those who died in the line of fire while covering conflicts or on dangerous assignments, as well as those who were murdered. The majority of the victims were local journalists.
Long-running conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq mean that journalists on the frontline often face being caught in the line of fire. Of the countries not at war, Mexico is the most dangerous for reporters because powerful drug cartels increasingly target journalists who expose organized crime. At least 12 journalists have been killed so far in Afghanistan this year, the CPJ said, with nine of them murdered in twin bomb attacks in Kabul in April.
According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF),the breakdown of figures for the first half of 2018 is 36 professional journalists, nine citizen-journalists and two media workers killed worldwide. The deadliest countries are Afghanistan with 11 journalists killed, Syria with seven, Yemen with five, and Mexico with five.
Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems. UNESCO is concerned that impunity damages whole societies by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption, and crime. It weakens not only freedom of expression and access to information, but all other fundamental rights and impunity leads as the crucial reason for violence against exercising freedom of expression freely.
ICPFJ is a strong advocate for the freedom of expression and works actively against biased journalism. The center is also committed to its mission against extremism and is part of the fight against oppressive or tyrannical regimes running the affairs of countries.
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INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR THE PROTECTION AND FREEDOM OF JOURNALISTS