Mikhail Beketov

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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.

Blog   |   Russia

Murder of Boris Nemtsov highlights Russia's impunity record

Signs that read 'I am not afraid' are carried at a march in Moscow in memory of Boris Nemtsov. His killing has been compared to the murders of critical journalists. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

The brazen contract-style killing of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov on Friday night--carried out within range of a dozen security cameras and yards from the Kremlin walls in Moscow--serves as a grim reminder of the risks government critics face in Russia.

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

The Road to Justice

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.

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


Unsolved Murders: 100

Population: 32.6 million

Rank: 1


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


Unsolved Murders: 7

Population: 22.4 million

Rank: 5


Unsolved Murders: 5

Population: 29.8 million

Rank: 6


Unsolved Murders: 16

Population: 120.8 million

Rank: 7


Unsolved Murders: 6

Population: 47.7 million

Rank: 8


Unsolved Murders: 22

Population: 179.2 million

Rank: 9


Unsolved Murders: 14

Population: 143.5 million

Rank: 10


Unsolved Murders: 9

Population: 198.7 million

Rank: 11


Unsolved Murders: 5

Population: 168.8 million

Rank: 12


Unsolved Murders: 7

Population: 1,237 million

Rank: 13

Blog   |   Russia

Beketov's untimely death, and Putin's unfulfilled promise

Mikhail Beketov's recovery, in photos by CPJ and news agencies.

Mikhail Beketov, the former crusading editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda in the Moscow suburb, Khimki, died this afternoon at a Moscow hospital. A choking episode during lunch led to heart failure, Elena Kostyuchenko, Beketov's friend and a reporter for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, told CPJ by phone from Moscow. Really, though, Beketov's life was taken by the thugs who smashed his skull, broke his legs, pulverized his hands, and left him to die in the freezing cold nearly five years ago. He defied them, surviving that November 2008 night and valiantly rallying in the ensuing years, but the once robust and fearless editor was never the same.

Blog   |   Syria

Smashing the hand that holds the pen

Ferzat recovering at his home. (AFP)

Ali Ferzat likes to work through the night. His attackers knew that. Masked men grabbed Syria's most famous cartoonist as he set out for home from his office near Damascus' central Umayyad Square at around 5 a.m. on Thursday, and bundled him into a van. A few hours later, he lay in a bloody heap with a bag over his head on an airport road some 19 miles (30 kilometers) out of town.

Blog   |   CPJ, Journalist Assistance, Russia

Beketov back on his feet, and a long road awaits

A fighter regains his footing, but his voice is stilled. (CPJ/Nina Ognianova)

Mikhail Beketov can walk now--using an artificial leg and propping himself on crutches. He's moving around his house in the Moscow suburb of Khimki. It was here, in his front yard, where the newspaper editor was attacked two years and seven months ago. It was in this yard where assailants left him for dead. The fact that Beketov can stand on his own again is testament to the sheer strength of the man, whom friends describe as a born fighter. He could be obstinate, they say, and that's why he would never turn away from what he believes in.

June 26, 2011 8:11 PM ET

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