CPJ's 2019 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free. (Source: CPJ data from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2019)
CPJ's 2019 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free. (Source: CPJ data from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2019)

The worst countries in the world at prosecuting journalist murderers

The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.

CPJ released the 2019 edition of its annual Global Impunity Index this week, which lists the worst countries in the world at prosecuting murderers of journalists. Somalia tops the list for the fifth year in a row. During the 10-year period covered by the index, 318 journalists were murdered for their work worldwide. In 86% of those cases, no perpetrators have been successfully convicted. Explore CPJ’s data on journalists murdered with impunity here.

CPJ analyzed 53 legal requests made by India to Twitter since August 2017 and found that Twitter withheld 920,000 tweets from Kashmir-related accounts in India. More accounts were withheld in India in the second half of 2018 than in the rest of the world combined, according to Twitter’s transparency reports. The data that CPJ compiled is available in a public spreadsheet here.

In China, authorities arrested and detained Chinese freelance journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin following her coverage of the ongoing Hong Kong protests. Huang’s most recent blog posts include two stories documenting her participation in protests in Hong Kong and one story on a sexual harassment case in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

Global press freedom updates

  • CPJ spoke with Moroccan press freedom advocate and NSO Group spyware target Maati Monjib
  • Journalists injured and detained and broadcasters banned in Iraq
  • Brazilian President Bolsonaro threatens to revoke media company’s broadcasting license
  • Members of the public assault Israeli journalist Daniel Siryoti in Kiryat Ata
  • Palestinian court orders block of dozens of news websites and Facebook pages
  • Congolese radio journalist attacked by ruling party supporters at rally
  • Bosnian investigative journalist Avdo Avdić receives death threats
  • Sierra Leone journalist Mahmud Tim Kargbo charged with criminal defamation
  • Restrictive terms of Shawkan’s release from Egyptian jail highlighted to U.N.
  • Nigerian court grants anonymity to witnesses testifying against journalist Agba Jalingo
  • CPJ calls on Tajik president to ensure journalists can report the news freely and safely
  • CPJ calls on the European Parliament to push for safeguards for journalists in ‘e-evidence’ proposal
  • CPJ joined 64 other civil society organizations in calling on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to address serious and systematic human rights violations in Cameroon
  • Pakistan media regulator walks back ban on news anchors expressing personal opinions


The One Free Press Coalition is a group of over two dozen media outlets that work together to use their collective platforms to highlight some of the most pressing cases of journalists under threat around the world. CPJ and the International Women’s Media Foundation work closely with the coalition to identify cases each month.

This month, the list of journalists includes impunity cases like Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Mexican reporter Miroslava Breach Velducea, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Kashmir Rising editor Shujaat Bukhari. Read about all the cases featured this November here.

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