Killed

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Appendix I

At least 370 journalists have been murdered in direct connection to their work from the beginning of 2004 through 2013, according to CPJ research. In 333 of the cases, no one has been convicted. In 28 cases, some suspects have been sentenced, or killed in the course of apprehension, but others believed to be connected to or to have ordered the crime remain free. Nine cases have reached complete justice, meaning all of the perpetrators, including the crime’s mastermind, have been convicted. CPJ maintains detailed records on journalists killings from 1992 to the present. For additional information, please visit http://cpj.org/killed.

October 28, 2014 12:01 PM ET

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Conclusion

Today the fight against impunity has reached an important juncture. There is awareness on domestic and global levels of the extreme peril posed to journalists and the public’s right to information when violence against the press is met with official inaction. The cries for justice by freedom of expression advocates have been amplified by the U.N.’s endorsement and its designation of the first International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

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Sidebar: Raising the Cost of Impunity, in the Name of Magnitsky

Sergei Magnitsky, 37, a Russian lawyer and tax adviser, died in November 2009 after spending several months in Moscow’s Butyrka prison, which is known for its harsh conditions. An independent report by the Moscow Pub­lic Over­sight Com­mis­sion, a Russ­ian NGO that mon­i­tors human rights in deten­tion facil­i­ties, concluded that Magnitsky had been kept in torturous conditions and denied treatment for serious medical conditions. Before his arrest in 2008 on charges of fraud, Magnitsky had exposed large-scale official corruption.

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Sidebar: A New Start on Old Murders in Serbia

Slavko Curuvija was killed 15 years ago, but Veran Matić, a veteran journalist of Serbia’s independent media, never forgot.

Curuvija, an influential independent newspaper owner in what was then Yugoslavia, was shot in the back on April 11, 1999, by two men outside his apartment building. Curuvija was well known for his criticism of President Slobodan Milosovic, and there was evidence implicating Milosovic’s intelligence services in the attack—but no one was ever brought to justice. Other murders of journalists in what was then Yugoslavia also went unsolved, including the 2001 fatal assault on crime reporter Milan Pantic, and the death of Radoslava Dada Vujasinovic. Vujasinovic, who investigated corruption in Milosovic’s government, was found in her apartment with gunshot wounds in 1994. Her death was labeled a suicide.

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Sidebar: The Unsolved Murder of Natalya Estemirova

Russia's well-developed security apparatus has the investigative and judicial capacity to prosecute suspects in the 14 unsolved murders of journalists that took place there in the past decade, at least by the account of its own leadership. In a televised announcement in January 2014, Investigative Committee chief Aleksandr Bastrykin boasted that 90 percent of homicides in Russia are solved. It's true that the Kremlin has made progress, though long delayed, with convictions in the case of Anna Politkovskaya. Yet, in other cases where journalists are the victims, investigations have a tendency to taper off, particularly when they point toward politically uncomfortable suspects. Few cases showcase this pattern more than the murder of the prominent human rights defender and journalist Natalya Estemirova.

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4. Steps That Work and Those That Don’t

On May 3, 2011, CPJ representatives traveled to Pakistan to raise concerns about the increasing attacks against journalists there and the country’s high rate of impunity. It was a moment of drama: The previous day, American forces had killed Osama bin Laden in nearby Abbottabad. But Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari kept his commitment and met CPJ to discuss the growing number of Pakistani journalists murdered because of their work, and the absence of prosecution against the assailants.

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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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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

Foreword

By Myroslava Gongadze

It is a sad truth of today’s world that the life of a journalist is often a dangerous one. We in the media hear daily reports of crimes against journalists, from intimidation to murder, and it is even harder when these are committed against our friends, family, and colleagues. A culture of impunity often obstructs our search for justice for these crimes and allows those responsible, whether they are state authorities or powerful elites, to block the people’s quest for the truth in the bloodiest of ways.

Alerts   |   Peru

Peruvian radio host's wife killed in attack on station

Bogotá, Colombia, October 20, 2014--Peruvian authorities must conduct an efficient and thorough investigation into Friday's attack on a radio station in which assailants killed the wife of a journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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