Committee to Protect Journalists: Getting Away With Murder 2009


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CPJ’s Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and killers go free

New York, March 23, 2009 — The already murderous conditions for the press in Sri Lanka and Pakistan deteriorated further in the past year, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index, a list of countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Colombia, historically one of the world’s deadliest nations for the press, improved as the rate of murders declined and prosecutors won important recent convictions. “We’re distressed to see justice worsen in places such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Our findings indicate that the failure to solve journalist murders perpetuates further violence against the press,” said Joel Simon, CPJ executive director. “Countries can get off this list of shame only by committing themselves to seeking justice.”

Since 1999, 16 journalists have been murdered in retaliation for reporting on official corruption, unrest in the North Caucasus republics, and organized crime nationwide. All but one case has gone unsolved. As he took office in 2008, President Dmitry Medvedev promised that attacks against journalists would be investigated and prosecuted. Nevertheless, authorities have failed to obtain convictions in even high-profile killings such as the 2004 murder of Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov and the 2006 slaying of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.
Impunity Index Rating: 0.106 unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants.
Last year: Ranked 9th with a rating of 0.098.

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