Friday, October 29, 2021
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has ranked Pakistan at number nine again this year on its annual Global Impunity Index, which highlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free.
The ranking is: Somalia, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Philippines, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, Bangladesh, India.
Pakistan and the Philippines have been mainstays on the index since its inception in 2008.
Each year, the CPJ index includes more stable countries where criminal and political groups, politicians, business leaders, and other powerful actors resort to violence to silence critical and investigative journalists.
The CPJ’s Global Impunity Index counts the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population. For this purpose, the unsolved murder of journalists occurred between September 1, 2011, to August 31, 2021, were examined. The data, however, does not fully reflect the increased danger facing journalists in Afghanistan.
Population data from the World Bank’s 2020 World Development Indicators, viewed in September 2021, were used in calculating each country’s rating.
In the case of Pakistan, there are 12 unsolved murder cases of journalists. According to the CPJ database, 62 journalists have been killed in attacks since 1992.
Somalia remained the world’s worst country for unsolved killings of journalists, CPJ’s 2021 Global Impunity Index found.
The index showed little change from a year earlier, with Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan, in that order, again coming in behind Somalia to occupy the worst four spots on the list, as conflict, political instability, and weak judicial mechanisms perpetuate a cycle of violence against journalists, a statement issued on CPJ's website read.
During the 10-year index period – a tumultuous time that includes Syria’s civil war, widespread protests against Arab governments, and attacks against media workers by extremist groups and organized crime syndicates – 278 journalists were murdered for their work worldwide.
According to the watchdog, in 226 of those cases or 81%, no one has been held accountable for the journalists' murders in the last 10 years.
Mexico holds the sixth spot on the index for the second straight year, while Bangladesh improved one spot in the index this year, to 11th, due to convictions in February in the 2015 murders of secular blogger Avijit Roy and his publisher, Faisal Arefin Dipan.