Elisabeth Witchel

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.

CPJ Blog

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

May 24, 2016 1:41 PM ET

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...

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Accounting for impunity is obligation for all states

November 18, 2014 4:22 PM ET

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...

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Responsibility to end impunity rests with UN member states

September 25, 2014 3:52 PM ET

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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News of convictions in journalist murders sadly infrequent

May 15, 2013 12:55 PM ET

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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Pakistan's new effort to improve safety, combat impunity

March 15, 2013 10:34 AM ET

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...

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In Philippines, questions on witness death in Ortega case

February 13, 2013 2:32 PM ET

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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Setback in O'Hagan murder must not mean case closed

February 1, 2013 2:54 PM ET

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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More can be done to get justice for Deyda Hydara

December 17, 2012 1:40 PM ET

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...

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London statement urges strong steps to protect journalists

October 23, 2012 12:12 PM ET

More than 40 media organizations worldwide are demanding urgent action by governments, the United Nations, and the industry to stop violence against journalists and end impunity in attacks on the press. They made their position known in a joint statement delivered today to the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural...

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Brazil restates commitment to press freedom, UN plan

June 13, 2012 12:58 PM ET

CPJ has received an encouraging letter from Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Brazil's permanent representative to the United Nations, affirming the country's support for the UNESCO-led U.N. Plan of Action for Security of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. ...

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