Are Jour­nal­ists Soft Tar­gets?

India Today - - UPFRONT -

The death of Do­or­dar­shan cam­era­man Achyu­tananda Sahu in a re­ported Naxal am­bush in Chhattisga­rh was a stark re­minder of the per­ils some re­porters face on the job. Sahu’s name is part of a long global list of jour­nal­ists killed so far this year, in­clud­ing the grisly mur­der of Saudi Ara­bian colum­nist Ja­mal Khashoggi in the Saudi em­bassy in Is­tan­bul. Five years ago, the United Na­tions de­clared Novem­ber 2 as ‘In­ter­na­tional Day to End Im­punity for Crimes Against Jour­nal­ists’, but jour­nal­ists re­main a soft tar­get. A re­cent UNESCO re­port says a jour­nal­ist dies ev­ery four days some­where in the world but the vast ma­jor­ity of the mur­ders go un­pun­ished. In In­dia, ar­rests, such as those of the al­leged killers of ed­i­tor Gauri Lankesh, are some­times made but are of­ten con­tro­ver­sial. The Vi­ennabased In­ter­na­tional Press In­sti­tute has de­scribed In­dia, along­side Mex­ico, as a coun­try in which “in­ves­ti­ga­tions into jour­nal­ist killings have been par­tic­u­larly tardy”. In­dia also con­sis­tently fea­tures in the an­nual list deemed by the New York-based Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists (CPJ) to have the worst records in pros­e­cut­ing the killers of jour­nal­ists. The list doesn’t in­clude those who die cov­er­ing com­bat.

12

In­dian jour­nal­ists killed since Septem­ber 2017. In 6 cases, ar­rests have been made, al­beit con­tro­ver­sially. In 2018 alone, In­dian jour­nal­ists have been killed; 73 world­wide

75

Jour­nal­ists killed in In­dia since 1992, says CPJ, with clear mo­tive iden­ti­fied in

of these mur­ders

48 142

At­tacks on jour­nal­ists in In­dia be­tween 2015-17, says the Na­tional Crime Records Bureau

14

In­dia’s rank among the 14 coun­tries listed in the CPJ’s global im­punity in­dex 2018, which lists the num­ber of un­solved jour­nal­ist mur­ders as a per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion of each coun­try on the list

138

In­dia’s rank­ing out of 180 coun­tries in the ‘World Press Free­dom In­dex 2018’, an an­nual list pro­duced by Re­porters With­out Bor­ders

89%

Of jour­nal­ist killings recorded by UNESCO world­wide be­tween 2006 and 2017 “re­main un­re­solved”

1,010 7

Coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­dia, that have made the global im­punity in­dex ev­ery year since it be­gan in 2008. Oth­ers: So­ma­lia, Iraq, Philip­pines, Mex­ico, Pak­istan and Rus­sia

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