Press freedom and impunity: 2016 analysis

Rates of impunity in the murders of journalists remain high with Somalia being the worst ranked country and Mexico the sixth, says the Committee to Protect Journalists. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released the 2016 Global Impunity Index which “spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free.”

According to their research 40% of the journalists received threats before they were murdered and 30% were taken captive before their death.  The CPJ reports 40%of the suspects are political groups including extremists like the auto-proclaimed Islamic State and 25% of murder suspects are government or military officials.

Only 3% of the murder cases achieved full justice, meaning even the prosecution of the masterminds was achieved.

The worst country in their index is Somalia. It’s the second time the African country has been pointed as the worst and the CPJ blames the extremist group al-Shabaab is the main suspect. They’re followed by Syria and Iraq where at least 6 journalists were murdered in the past year. This is also a problematic in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan.

In Latin America the violence perpetrated against journalists is mainly under criminal groups and local official’s orders, especially in Brazil and Mexico. Mexico is listed as the sixth worst country with 21 journalists being killed with complete impunity in the last decade.  Brazil is the ninth worst country with 15 journalists killed with complete impunity in the same period of time.

Journalists reporting about corruption outside the main cities are the most targeted in Brazil, whereas in Mexico local journalists reporting on crime and corruption in cartel dominated states are the victims.

The impunity index is published annually to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists which is marked on November 2. For this index the CPJ analyzed the murders that took place in every nation between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2016.

Only those nations with more than five unsolved cases in this period of time were included in the index with a total of 13 countries this year. Cases considered unsolved are those in which no conviction has been obtained.


LatinAmerican Post 

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