Get­ting away with mur­der: So­ma­lia tops global me­dia of­fend­ers

Sunday Trust - - MEDIA -

Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists (CPJ) 2018 Global Im­punity In­dex spot­lights coun­tries where jour­nal­ists are slain and their killers go free

Im­punity is en­trenched in 14 na­tions, ac­cord­ing to CPJ’s 2018 Global Im­punity In­dex, which ranks states with the worst records of pros­e­cut­ing the killers of jour­nal­ists.

So­ma­lia tops the list for the fourth year in a row and two coun­tries re­join the list of of­fend­ers, in­clud­ing Afghanistan where a sui­cide at­tacker tar­geted a group of jour­nal­ists in Kabul, killing nine. Colom­bia also reap­peared on the ranks af­ter a break­away fac­tion of a guer­rilla group with al­leged ties to drug traf­fick­ing kid­napped an Ecuado­ran news crew near the border and mur­dered them in Colom­bian ter­ri­tory. Both na­tions had fallen off the in­dex in re­cent years as vi­o­lent con­flict re­ceded.

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. More than three quar­ters (82 per­cent) of these cases took place in the 14 coun­tries that CPJ in­cluded on the in­dex this year. All 14 coun­tries have fea­tured on the in­dex mul­ti­ple times since CPJ be­gan to com­pile it in 2008, and half have ap­peared every year.

The ma­jor­ity of vic­tims are lo­cal jour­nal­ists. The list in­cludes states where in­sta­bil­ity caused by con­flict and vi­o­lence by armed groups has fu­eled im­punity, as well as coun­tries where jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing cor­rup­tion, crime, pol­i­tics, busi­ness, and hu­man rights have been tar­geted and the sus­pects have the means and in­flu­ence to cir­cum­vent jus­tice through po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence, wealth or in­tim­i­da­tion.

The Im­punity In­dex is pub­lished an­nu­ally to mark the In­ter­na­tional Day to End Im­punity for Crimes against Jour­nal­ists on Novem­ber 2. It cal­cu­lates the num­ber of un­solved mur­ders over a 10-year pe­riod as a per­cent­age of each coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion. For this edi­tion, CPJ an­a­lyzed jour­nal­ist mur­ders in every na­tion that took place be­tween Septem­ber 1, 2008 and Au­gust 31, 2018. Coun­tries with five or more un­solved cases for the pe­riod are in­cluded. As a mea­sure of po­lit­i­cal will to ad­dress im­punity, CPJ noted which states par­tic­i­pated in the UN­ESCO’s im­punity ac­count­abil­ity mech­a­nism. Each year, this mech­a­nism re­quests in­for­ma­tion on the sta­tus of in­ves­ti­ga­tions into killed jour­nal­ists. (CPJ)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.