Mikhail Beketov

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CPJ’s 2014 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free

Iraq

Unsolved Murders: 100

Population: 32.6 million

Rank: 1

Somalia

Unsolved Murders: 26

Population: 10.2 million

Rank: 2

The Philippines

Unsolved Murders: 51

Population: 96.7 million

Rank: 3

Sri Lanka

Unsolved Murders: 9

Population: 20.3 million

Rank: 4

Syria

Unsolved Murders: 7

Population: 22.4 million

Rank: 5

Afghanistan

Unsolved Murders: 5

Population: 29.8 million

Rank: 6

Mexico

Unsolved Murders: 16

Population: 120.8 million

Rank: 7

Colombia

Unsolved Murders: 6

Population: 47.7 million

Rank: 8

Pakistan

Unsolved Murders: 22

Population: 179.2 million

Rank: 9

Russia

Unsolved Murders: 14

Population: 143.5 million

Rank: 10

Brazil

Unsolved Murders: 9

Population: 198.7 million

Rank: 11

Nigeria

Unsolved Murders: 5

Population: 168.8 million

Rank: 12

India

Unsolved Murders: 7

Population: 1,237 million

Rank: 13

Surveillance, restrictive Internet legislation, and cyberattacks compel CPJ to add cyberspace to the list of places trending in the wrong direction. By Maya Taal

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood try to push a journalist, center, away from the police academy where ousted President Mohamed Morsi was on trial on the outskirts of Cairo, November 4, 2013. Perhaps nowhere did press freedom decline more dramatically in 2013 than in polarized Egypt. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

When Mick Deane was killed in Egypt on Wednesday, he became the 1,000th journalist documented by CPJ as having died in direct relation to his work. The photos above, a sampling of those who have died over the past 21 years, serve as a powerful reminder of the cost of critical, independent journalism.

Mikhail Beketov's recovery, in photos by CPJ and news agencies.

Mikhail Beketov, the former crusading editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda in the Moscow suburb, Khimki, died this afternoon at a Moscow hospital. A choking episode during lunch led to heart failure, Elena Kostyuchenko, Beketov's friend and a reporter for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, told CPJ by phone from Moscow. Really, though, Beketov's life was taken by the thugs who smashed his skull, broke his legs, pulverized his hands, and left him to die in the freezing cold nearly five years ago. He defied them, surviving that November 2008 night and valiantly rallying in the ensuing years, but the once robust and fearless editor was never the same.

Ferzat recovering at his home. (AFP)

Ali Ferzat likes to work through the night. His attackers knew that. Masked men grabbed Syria's most famous cartoonist as he set out for home from his office near Damascus' central Umayyad Square at around 5 a.m. on Thursday, and bundled him into a van. A few hours later, he lay in a bloody heap with a bag over his head on an airport road some 19 miles (30 kilometers) out of town.

A fighter regains his footing, but his voice is stilled. (CPJ/Nina Ognianova)

Mikhail Beketov can walk now--using an artificial leg and propping himself on crutches. He's moving around his house in the Moscow suburb of Khimki. It was here, in his front yard, where the newspaper editor was attacked two years and seven months ago. It was in this yard where assailants left him for dead. The fact that Beketov can stand on his own again is testament to the sheer strength of the man, whom friends describe as a born fighter. He could be obstinate, they say, and that's why he would never turn away from what he believes in.

New York, December 10, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is relieved that the Khimki City Court has overturned the defamation conviction of editor Mikhail Beketov, a verdict that had been condemned in Russia and abroad. 

New York, November 11, 2010--Russia's top investigator, Aleksandr Bastrykin, today ordered the reopening of a probe into a near-lethal November 2008 attack on Mikhail Beketov, editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda. Bastrykin's order comes a day after a court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki convicted Beketov of criminally slandering local mayor Vladimir Strelchenko. The conviction, coming at a time when Beketov's assailants are walking free, drew international condemnation.

New York, November 10, 2010--A court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki today convicted Mikhail Beketov, the editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda, of criminally slandering Khimki's mayor, Vladimir Strelchenko, in a 2007 television interview. Beketov, who is in a wheelchair and unable to speak two years after a near-lethal attack, was wheeled into the courtroom for today's verdict.

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