CPJ’s 2016 Global Impunity Index exposes impunity for crimes against journalists and the countries in which the phenomenon is more worring.
The Impunity Index is published annually by the Committee to Protect Journalism to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2.
The Index calculates the number of unsolved murders over a 10-year period as a percentage of each country’s population. For its 2016 edition, CPJ Index takes into account the killings of journalists across the world registered between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2016.
Country-specific fact sheets are provided for the 13 countries which have five or more unsolved cases in the period considered. These are: Somalia, Iraq; Syria; Philippines; South Sudan; Mexico; Afghanistan; Pakistan; Brazil; Russia; Bangladesh; Nigeria and India. The 13 countries on the index account for 80 percent of the unsolved murders that took place worldwide during the 10-year period ending August 31, 2016. Of these countries, 8 have been included in the Index since 2008, showing that the problem with impunity is a persistent predicament.
Impunity is widely recognized as one of the greatest threats to press freedom. The international campaign against impunity has led to some positive developments in recent years although much remains to be achieved. Among the positive developments, it is noted in the Index, the fact that six countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, and Somalia) have convicted perpetrators of journalist killings in the past year, the number of countries being double compared to the one registered in the previous year.
Who are the perpetrators?
In the past decade political groups, including Islamic State and other extremist organizations, are the suspected perpetrators in more than 40 percent of murder cases. Government and military officials are considered the leading suspects in nearly a quarter of the cases in the same period.
Who are the victims?
Around 95 percent of victims are local reporters, mostly covering politics and corruption in their home countries. In at least 40 percent of cases, the victims reported receiving threats before they were killed. Threats are rarely investigated by authorities and in only a handful of cases is adequate protection provided.
In the past 10 years, around 30 percent of murdered journalists were first taken captive, the majority of whom were tortured, amplifying the killers’ message of intimidation to the media community.
Download the CPJ’s 2016 Global Impunity Index
This article was originally published by ECPMF.