JournalismPakistan.com April 18, 2012
NEW YORK: Deadly, unpunished violence against the Press rose sharply in Pakistan and Mexico, continuing a dark, years-long trend in both nations, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index.
The global index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country's population, shows that Pakistani authorities routinely fail to bring prosecutions in journalist murders, including several with suspected government links, while Mexican officials are yet to effectively combat the murderous crime groups targeting news media in vast parts of the nation.
"Impunity is the oxygen for attacks against the press and the engine of those who seek to silence the media," said Javier Garza, deputy editor of the Mexican daily El Siglo de Torreón.
Gunmen have attacked his newspaper's Coahuila offices twice in the past four years and, though fatalities were avoided, no one has been arrested either. "These attacks made it clear to us that we can't trust the authorities for protection."
CPJ's index found improving conditions in Colombia and Nepal, along with a long-term decline in deadly, anti-press violence in Bangladesh that caused that country to drop off the list entirely. But the four worst nations in combating journalist murders—Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka—showed virtually no sign of progress.
With 19 unsolved cases, Pakistan's rating has worsened considerably in recent years. Intelligence and military officials are suspected to have played a role in a number of cases. In the months before he was murdered, for example, reporter Saleem Shahzad told friends and colleagues he was being threatened by the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
But the case, as with others, has not been credibly investigated by the government. After intense domestic and international outcry, Pakistan's government ordered a commission of inquiry into the Shahzad killing — but the resulting report was widely criticized for shying away from an examination of the intelligence service's possible role.
Pakistan’s Impunity Index Rating: 0.109 unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants
Last year: Ranked 10th with a rating of 0.082
Read more here: http://www.cpj.org/reports/2012/04/impunity-index-2012.php
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