In nearly 80% of the 263 cases of journalists murdered in retaliation for their work globally over the past decade, the perpetrators have faced no punishment, according to the Committee to Protect Journalist’s 2022 Global Impunity Index. The index shows that Somalia remains the worst offender on the index for the eighth straight year.
“Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, respectively, round out the top five countries on the index, which covers the period September 1, 2012, to August 31, 2022”, CPJ says.
“Countries like Mexico, with 28 unsolved journalist murders in the past 10 years, the Philippines, and Brazil also continue to fall short in prosecuting murderers of journalists as violence against the press soars and national protection mechanisms prove ineffective.”
“Authoritarian rule and conflict are not the only contributors to rampant impunity. Democratically elected governments in countries like Mexico, the Philippines, and Brazil continue to fall short, as violence against journalists soars and national protection mechanisms prove ineffective. With 28 unsolved murders in Mexico in the past 10 years, the most of any nation on the index, there appears to be little political will to seek justice.”
“We’ve seen a dramatic rise in the abusive tactics used to silence journalists, from spyware technology to spurious legal charges,” says CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg.
“On top of these mounting threats, journalists are being murdered in retaliation for their work with near total impunity. This lack of justice empowers perpetrators to continue silencing the press.”
A decade ago since the United Nations launched a Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. CPJ says its index is a striking reminder of the need for urgent interventions on behalf of journalists globally.
“An early collaborator on the U.N. plan, CPJ renews its call for action by governments to prioritize journalist safety.”
“The U.N. Plan of Action provides a blueprint but, ultimately, national governments are the ones who must deliver on protection and justice. We need to see thorough, independent investigations to stem violence against journalists – and political and economic consequences for those who fail to carry out such investigations,” said Ginsberg.
“Myanmar is included on the index for the first time this year, highlighting the country’s press freedom crisis one year after it joined the ranks of the world’s worst jailers of journalists. Since the February 2021 coup, Myanmar’s military junta has used overreaching anti-state and false news laws to suppress independent reporting and to jail journalists in record numbers”, CPJ says.