Global Campaign Against Impunity


With the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity. Our work focuses closely on Russia and the Philippines, nations with high numbers of journalist murders and low conviction rates. CPJ works with local journalist groups to:

  • Document and publicize the murders of journalists and subsequent law enforcement actions.
  • Advocate for justice in meetings with local prosecutors, police, government officials, and judicial officials.
  • Provide support for the families of victims.
  • Conduct discussions and press conferences to publicize the problem and identify solutions.
  • Analyze data, investigate cases, and produce in-depth reports identifying law enforcement failures and recommending solutions.
  • Promote the use of witness protection programs, change-of-venue motions, and other techniques proven effective in obtaining justice.
  • Enlist the support of the international community in seeking justice.

CPJ research and analysis

Journalists killed with impunity since 1992

CPJ's interactive database of killed journalists, lists cases of journalists killed around the world with complete and partial impunity, along with detailed case information.

Impunity Index

From Mexico to Somalia, Russia to India, CPJ names the 14 countries where journalists are regularly murdered and the killers go unpunished. Details »

Partners in the fight against impunity

CPJ works closely with freedom of expression organizations around the world to combat impunity. We encourage you to explore the resources available from some our partner groups and the participate in campaigns hosted by the International Freedom of Expression Exchange marking the International Day to End Impunity.

U.N. documents and resolutions directly relating to impunity in journalist murders:

  • Resolution 1738 (2006), adopted by the Security Council in December 2006, urges the protection of journalists covering armed conflict and emphasizes the need for states to end impunity in criminal acts against journalists. It asks the U.N. secretary-general to include the issue of the safety and security of journalists, media professionals, and associated personnel when reporting on protection of civilians in armed conflict.
  • The United Nations Human Rights Committee, a body of legal experts, published General Comment 34 on Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, noting that all attacks against those who practice freedom of expression should be "vigorously investigated in a timely fashion, and the perpetrators prosecuted," among other points.
  • The U.N. Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, drafted by UNESCO, was adopted by the U.N. Chief Executives Board in April 2012. The plan's measures include establishing a coordinated inter-agency mechanism to handle issues related to the safety of journalists, as well as assisting countries to develop legislation and mechanisms favorable to freedom of expression and information, and supporting their efforts to implement existing international rules and principles. Its implementation began in early 2013.
  • In June 2012, U.N. special rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions and promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression presented reports at the 20th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which highlighted impunity in targeted attacks against journalists as a major blight on human rights and called on states to implement mechanisms to protect journalists and promote justice.
  • The U.N. Human Rights Council passed Resolution 21/12 on the safety of journalists at its 21st session in September 2012. The resolution expresses concern that "attacks against journalists often occur with impunity, and calls upon States to ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy and effective investigations into such acts falling within their jurisdiction, and to bring to justice those responsible and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies." The resolution also asked the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to compile a report on good practices for protecting journalists and addressing impunity. The report was presented at the 24th session of the Human Rights Council in July 2013.
  • The U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 68/163 on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The resolution proclaims November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. It calls on states to dedicate the resources necessary to investigate and prosecute attacks against journalists and for the U.N. Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the resolution and the U.N. Plan of Action to the General Assembly.

Stay Informed

Find out more about the killings of journalists and CPJ's campaign to end impunity by reading our latest Impunity Newsletter and subscribe to CPJ RSS feeds

Take Action

Sign up to receive CPJ's daily email alerts and the Impunity Newsletter. Get to know the journalists behind the statistics by exploring CPJ's database of journalists killed since 1992. Take a moment to share these stories, and take action on the Impunity Spotlight case

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Donate to CPJ

Support our campaign against impunity. Your donation will help us raise awareness of this important issue, investigate attacks against journalists, and underwrite legal costs and protection for families, colleagues, and witnesses.

Provide Information

If you have information relevant to the slaying of a journalist, contact CPJ at

Murder is the ultimate form of censorship. Hundreds of journalists are murdered, but in nine out of 10 cases their killers go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity. Join us. Raise your voice. Speak out for justice.

Impunity Spotlight


Deyda Hydara, reporter

Murdered: December 16, 2004, in Banjul, Gambia

Case Status: Complete Impunity

"As we approach the 12th anniversary of the cold, brutal, chilling and calculated killing [of Deyda Hydara], we as a family continue to endure the devastation and anguish of impunity."--Marie Hydara, the daughter of murdered journalist Deyda Hydara.

Twelve years ago popular editor and columnist Deyda Hydara was driving home after celebrating the anniversary of his newspaper's founding when assailants shot him. No one has ever been held to account for the murder of Hydara, a known critic of the administration of outgoing President Yahya Jammeh . In 2014, the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice ruled that Gambia failed to investigate Hydara's murder and called for authorities to reopen a probe. Despite its membership to the regional body, Gambia has not complied with the verdict.

After decades in power, during which time journalists were routinely intimidated through violence and imprisonment, Jammeh's administration was voted out in December 2016. Join us in urging Gambia's president-elect, Adama Barrow, to prioritize justice for Hydara and other journalists and to honor Gambia's commitments to ECOWAS.

Impunity Index

From Brazil to Pakistan, Russia to India, CPJ names the countries where journalists are regularly murdered and the killers go unpunished. The Index calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country's population.

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Get Involved

You can make a difference in several ways. Add your voice to those seeking justice. Provide us with leads and information.

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A Global Movement

From Colombia to Somalia, organizations around the world work to end impunity. Responding to our voices, the U.N. General Assembly established November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Learn more about how the global response to impunity and what you can do November 2.

Resources ›


Road to justice: Breaking cycle of impunity

Despite increased international attention to the murders of journalists, governments fail to take action to reduce the high rates of targeted violence and impunity, the Committee to Protect Journalists finds. In the past 10 years, 370 journalists were murdered; in 90 percent of cases, there are no convictions. The unchecked, unsolved murders of journalists is one of the greatest threats to press freedom today.
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