Blog   |   Iraq

In Iraq, Islamic State exacts heavy toll on journalists and their families

Students light candles at the edge of the Tigris to mark a June 2014 massacre of army cadets by Islamic State. As the militants are pushed out of Iraq, the toll of destruction on Iraqis, including journalists, is only just coming to light. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

The militant group Islamic State swept through Iraq last summer, taking over city after city and leaving a wave of destruction of a scale only just being discovered. Even now it is difficult to understand how much damage was inflicted, including on the Iraqi journalist community, where rumors of missing or killed journalists are swirling and their families are afraid to speak out.

Alerts   |   Iraq

Iraq should investigate death threats against Reuters Baghdad bureau chief

Beirut, April 13, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Iraqi authorities to investigate death threats against Reuters' bureau chief in Baghdad and ensure that journalists are able to work in Iraq without fear of reprisal. Ned Parker was forced to flee Iraq following death threats, Reuters reported on Saturday.

April 13, 2015 2:42 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, Security, USA

Video: Bob Simon recounts 1991 capture in Iraq

When I heard the news last week that Bob Simon had died, I immediately thought back to an interview I had done with him in 2010. It was at an event called the "Courage Forum.," an ideas festival which took place the Museum of Modern Art hosted in New York City. It featured speakers who had demonstrated courage in various walks of life, among them tight rope artist Philippe Petit.

February 20, 2015 1:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq

Fight for justice in Kurdistan as suspect in journalist's murder is exonerated

The family of Kawa Garmyane, a journalist shot dead in Kurdistan in December 2013, has vowed to continue the fight for justice after Mahmoud Sangawi, a military commander charged with ordering the killing, was exonerated on Sunday by a court in Kalar. The court also upheld the death penalty handed to Twana Khaleefa, who was charged with carrying out the killing.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine

The Road to Justice

Breaking the Cycle of Impunity in the Killing of Journalists

The lack of justice in hundreds of murders of journalists around the world is one of the greatest threats to press freedom today. While international attention to the issue has grown over the past decade, there has been little progress in bringing down rates of impunity. States will have to demonstrate far more political will to implement international commitments to make an impact on the high rates of targeted violence that journalists routinely face. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists


October 28, 2014 12:01 AM ET

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Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

About This Report

Elisabeth Witchel, the founder of CPJ’s Global Campaign Against Impunity, is the lead author of this report. Witchel launched the campaign in 2007 and has compiled five editions of the organization’s annual Global Impunity Index as well as several other major reports. She has worked in human rights and journalism for more than 15 years and participated in missions to Pakistan, Nepal, and the Philippines, among others. In 2010, she organized CPJ’s Impunity Summit, bringing together 40 representatives from more than 20 press freedom organizations to identify challenges and strategies to combat impunity in violence against journalists.

October 28, 2014 12:00 AM ET

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Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

1. What Does Impunity Mean?

In 1981, the year CPJ was founded, Argentina was enmeshed in the so-called Dirty War, in which dozens of journalists were disappeared. Most were never seen again. To this day, no one has systematically documented the media murders that took place, and no one knows precisely how many journalists perished. Not surprisingly, given the information void, there was little international attention on journalists’ disappearances or the broader human rights catastrophe that many of the murdered reporters were seeking to cover.

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The Road to Justice

2. Measuring Progress Against Stubborn Reality

In November 2013, the United Nations General Assembly put the issue of impunity squarely on the global agenda.

The Resolution on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, adopted by consensus, describes the absence of justice for victims as “one of the main challenges to strengthening the protection of journalists.” It calls on states to “ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy, and effective investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction.” Governments are further charged to “bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.” The resolution proclaims November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

3. Where Impunity Thrives

A climate of impunity reached a tragic culmination on November 23, 2009, when gunmen ambushed a caravan escorting political candidate Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu as he prepared to file papers to become a candidate for provincial governor in the Philippines. The attackers slaughtered 58 people, among them 30 journalists and two media workers, the largest toll of journalists murdered in a single act since CPJ began keeping track in 1992.

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