The Committee to Protect Journalists has released its 2011 Impunity Index, which calculates the most murderous countries for journalists. And the 2011 winner of the most dangerous country for journalists is…..Iraq!
Yes, Iraq held onto its spot at number 1. In fact, the Iraqi government’s record for investigating and prosecuting anti-press violence actually got worse in 2010, a year that saw a spike in the murders of journalists. Somalia, from which nearly 60 journalists have fled in the past decade in the face of threats, ranked number 2 for the second year in a row. Also making the list are the usual suspects when it comes to anti-press violence: Afghanistan, the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan.
The CPJ’s Impunity Index identifies countries where journalists are regularly murdered in retaliation for their work, and where governments fail to find and convict the killers.
There isn’t much good news on this year’s Impunity Index. Colombia saw a lessening of anti-press violence, but still ranks 5th on the list. Russia had its first year without any journalists being killed in reprisal, and won convictions in two 2009 murders. However, there have been no convictions in some high-profile murder cases, including the 2006 killing of Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist and author who reported on the war in Chechnya.
Other details from the CPJ’s Special Report:
Local journalists make up the overwhelming majority of victims of unsolved murders.
About 28 percent of the victims were covering conflict zones.
South Asia is a dangerous place to try to cover politics or crime.
More details on the 13 countries that made the CPJ’s Impunity Index, and an explanation of CPJ’s methodology, can be found in the CPJ’s Special Report, aptly titled “Getting Away With Murder.”