Special Reports

Syria

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria

Getting Away With Murder

CPJ’s 2016 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free

By Elisabeth Witchel, CPJ Impunity Campaign Consultant

Published October 27, 2016.

Some of the highest rates of impunity in the murders of journalists can be attributed to killings by Islamist militant groups, CPJ found in its latest Global Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free. The worst country for the second year in a row is Somalia, where the militant group al-Shabaab is suspected in the majority of media murders, followed by Iraq and Syria, where members of the militant group Islamic State murdered at least six journalists in the past year.

Reports   |   Bangladesh, Brazil, France, Iraq, Mexico, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Yemen

Syria, France most deadly countries for the press

Of 69 journalists killed for their work in 2015, 40 percent died at the hands of Islamic militant groups such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. More than two-thirds of the total killed were singled out for murder. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

Cartoonists Renald Luzier, left, and Patrick Pelloux at a solidarity march in Paris for their colleagues killed in the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. In 2015, 28 journalists were killed by Islamic militants. (AFP/Eric Feferberg)

Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, India, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

China, Egypt imprison record numbers of journalists

Egypt is second only to China as the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2015. Worldwide, the number of journalists behind bars for their work declined moderately during the year, but a handful of countries continue to use systematic imprisonment to silence criticism. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

The Egyptian photojournalist known as Shawkan appears before a court in Cairo in May 2015 for the first time after more than 600 days in jail. A record number of journalists are imprisoned in Egypt in 2015. (AP/Lobna Tarek)

Reports   |   Bahrain, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam

Slideshow: Journalists freed

While just under 200 journalists are behind bars, CPJ witnessed several memorable releases in 2015, including in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and even secretive Eritrea. Some of the journalists had spent years behind bars; they endured isolation and several say they were tortured. This year, CPJ’s advocacy contributed to the release of at least 31 journalists. Some of their stories are shown here.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria

Getting Away With Murder

CPJ's 2015 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free

Published October 8, 2015

The ambush of a convoy in South Sudan and the hacking deaths of bloggers in Bangladesh this year propelled the two nations onto CPJ's Global Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go unpunished. Colombia exited the index as fatal violence against journalists receded further into that country's past.

For the first time since CPJ began compiling the index in 2008, Iraq did not claim the title of worst offender, as Somalia edged into that spot. The shift reflects a steady death toll in Somalia, where one or more journalists have been murdered every year over the past decade, and the government has proved unable or unwilling to investigate the attacks.

Reports   |   Journalist Assistance, Syria

Exiled: When the most dangerous place for journalists is your country

Syrian journalists have been harassed or imprisoned by the Assad regime as well as threatened or attacked by militant groups such as Islamic State. Ultimately, dozens have been forced to flee into exile. These are four of their stories. A Committee to Protect Journalists special report by Nicole Schilit

Reports   |   Bangladesh, Denmark, Ecuador, France, India, Iran, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, USA, Venezuela

Drawing the line: Cartoonists under threat

On January 7, two gunmen burst into the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing eight journalists and bringing into focus the risks cartoonists face. But with the ability of their work to transcend borders and languages, and to simplify complex political situations, the threats faced by cartoonists around the world—who are being imprisoned, forced into hiding, threatened with legal action or killed—far exceed Islamic extremism. A Committee to Protect Journalists special report by Shawn W. Crispin

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Guinea, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Myanmar, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine

International journalists killed at high rate in 2014; Middle East deadliest region

Syria is the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the third year in a row. International journalists were killed at a higher rate in 2014 than in recent years. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari

During a demonstration in Pakistan, journalists hold photos of Anja Niedringhaus, an AP photographer who was killed in Afghanistan in April. (Reuters/Faisal Mahmood)

Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Cameroon, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

China is world's worst jailer of the press; global tally second worst on record

More than 200 journalists are imprisoned for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism. China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari

An Egyptian protester calls for the release of freelance photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who has been imprisoned since August 2013. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria

Getting Away With Murder

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

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