Elisabeth Witchel/CPJ Impunity Campaign Consultant

Elisabeth Witchel, a CPJ consultant, served for many years as the organization’s journalist assistance coordinator. She also launched CPJ’s Global Campaign Against Impunity.

A relative of one of the Maguindanao massacre victims addresses the crowd during a rally to call for justice in Quezon city, on December 18, 2019. A Philippines court today issued its verdict on the 2009 attack, in which 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, were killed. (AP/Aaron Favila)

Ten years for justice in Maguindanao case is too long: We can do better

Never Forget. This became the rallying cry among journalists, freedom of expression activists and human rights defenders as they demanded justice following the massacre on November 23, 2009 of 58 people in Maguindanao. The attack, in which 32 journalists and media workers were killed, was the single deadliest event for the press that CPJ has…

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Getting Away with Murder

CPJ’s 2019 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free Published October 29, 2019 Somalia is the world’s worst country for the fifth year in a row when it comes to prosecuting murderers of journalists, CPJ’s 2019 Global Impunity Index found. War and political instability have fostered a deadly…

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The funeral of Sergei Magnitsky is held in Moscow on November 20, 2009. The lawyer died in state custody after exposing official corruption. (Reuters/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity in journalist murders

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of…

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Accounting for impunity is obligation for all states

This week, members of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication will meet to discuss the director general’s biannual report, which examines the cases of nearly 600 journalists killed around the world from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2013. The report, and lacklustre response from member states who had been asked to provide…

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Responsibility to end impunity rests with UN member states

Today marked an important step in efforts to protect journalists, with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva unanimously adopting a new resolution on the safety of journalists. Resolution 27/L7 reiterates, and strengthens the 2012 resolution (A/HRC/RES/21/12) agreed on by the same body.

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The wife of Philippines journalist Gerardo Ortega looks at his picture. (AFP/Noel Celis)

News of convictions in journalist murders sadly infrequent

We received an unusual email last week. Michaella Ortega wrote to tell us that Marlon Recamata, who confessed to shooting her father, Philippine journalist Gerardo Ortega, in 2011, had been convicted and sentenced to life for the crime.

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Journalists in Islamabad demonstrate against journalist murders and the lack of security surrounding the press. (Reuters/Faisal Mehmood)

Pakistan’s new effort to improve safety, combat impunity

Representatives from 40 Pakistani and international press groups, development organizations, and media houses came together in Islamabad last week to discuss ways to better protect local journalists at risk of violence, and means to combat the virtually perfect record of impunity that assailants enjoy in this country. It’s none too soon. Three journalists have died…

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In Philippines, questions on witness death in Ortega case

Questions surrounding the death of Dennis Aranas, accomplice-turned-witness to the murder of Filipino journalist Gerardo Ortega, have increased over the past week. Their answers beg yet another question: will the masterminds behind Ortega’s murder succeed in eluding justice?  

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Family, friends, and fellow journalists follow the funeral of Martin O'Hagan from his home in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, on October 1, 2001. (Reuters/Paul McErlane)

Setback in O’Hagan murder must not mean case closed

More than 11 years have passed since investigative journalist Martin O’Hagan was murdered near his home in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, and the case has not been solved. Last week Northern Ireland’s public prosecutor announced a major setback to the case that has colleagues worried it never will be. 

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Deyda Hydara and his wife Maria circa 1989. Arrest warrants are issued for two suspects in the journalist's killing. (Hydara family)

More can be done to get justice for Deyda Hydara

In the eight years since unidentified assailants shot and killed Deyda Hydara of the Gambia, no one has been held to account. The late 2004 murder of Hydara, an immensely respected editor, columnist, and press freedom advocate known for his criticism of President Yahya Jammeh’s repressive media policies, became a rallying point for Gambian journalists…

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