277 journalists ‘murdered’ within ten years- Report

Nigerian journalists in an interview session[Photo: The Standard]

At least 277 journalists were murdered while on the job worldwide since 2008, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found in an annual analysis.

The report – annual Global Impunity Index – says 83 per cent of those cases did not record successful prosecution of the perpetrators over the ten years.

According to the data, the number represents those killed between September 1, 2010, and August 31, 2020.

“During the 10 year index period ending August 31, 2020, 277 journalists were murdered for their work worldwide and in 83 per cent of those cases, no perpetrators have been successfully prosecuted,” the reports said.

The report said, “politicians, political groups, and other powerful actors use violence to silence critical and investigative journalists.”

“CPJ has found that corruption, weak institutions, and lack of political the will to pursue robust investigations are all factors behind impunity in the countries.

The report also said Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan topped 12 worst countries “where journalists were singled out for murder and their killers evade justice”.

Nigeria ‘excluded’

CPJ, however, excluded Nigeria from this year’s index, stating that “one murder in that country, from 2009, is not included in the decade now under scrutiny.”

The organisation had in 2017 ranked Nigeria 11th out of the 12 countries in the world where journalists are slain and the killers freed.

CPJ said the extremist group Boko Haram and unknown assailants were responsible for the killings.

Meanwhile, according to the report, Somalia with a population of about 15.4 million topped the index with a total of 26 numbers of unresolved murders.

War-ravaged countries, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and South Sudan occupy the second, third, fourth, fifth positions on the list with 22, 21, 13, and five journalists killed respectively with impunity.

 

Mexico, Philippines, Brazil, Pakistan, ranked, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth respectively. Bangladesh maintains the 10th position as of its 2017 report, while Russia and India occupied the 11th and 12th positions.

According to the report, the 12 countries account for 80 per cent of the global total of unsolved murders of journalists for the 10-year index period.

“All 12 have featured multiple times since CPJ first compiled the index in 2008, and seven have appeared every year.

“CPJ Global Impunity Index calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population. For this index, journalists who were deliberately killed in retaliation for the victim’s work. It excludes journalists killed in combat such as coverage of protests that turn violent,” CPJ explained.

The decade was marked by high-profile murders of journalists including Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, killed by Saudi agents in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October.

In February, Slovakian investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, was shot to death alongside his fiancé, the second murder of a European Union journalist covering corruption in less than six months.

In Afghanistan, a suicide bomber targeted a group of reporters, killing nine in a single explosion in April.

About 34 journalists were reportedly murdered this year compared to 18 in 2017.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *