Marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is honouring journalists and media workers who were killed in the line of duty for merely 'reporting the truth' and is underscoring the importance of protecting their rights and ensuring they can report freely.
"More than 700 journalists have been killed in the last decade – one every five days – simply for bringing news and information to the public. Many perish in the conflicts they cover so fearlessly. But all too many have been deliberately silenced for trying to report the truth,” said Mr. Ban in a message on the second World Day.
Noting that only 7 per cent of cases involving crimes against journalists are resolved and less that one crime out of 10 is ever fully investigated, he stressed that such impunity deepens fear among journalists and enables Governments to get away with censorship.
“We must do more to combat this trend and make sure that journalists can report freely. Journalists should not have to engage in self-censorship because they fear for their life,” said the UN chief.
Mr. Ban urged collective action to end the cycle of impunity and safeguard the right of journalists to speak truth to power.
Echoing the sentiment, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said that she has consistently and publicly condemned each killing of a journalist and called for a thorough investigation.
“In the past six years, I have publicly and unequivocally condemned more than 540 cases of killings of journalists, media workers and social media producers who generate significant amounts of journalism,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement.
“The near complete impunity for the perpetrators of crimes against journalists goes against everything that we stand for, our shared values, our common objectives,” she added.
Ms. Bokova stressed that each time the perpetrator of a crime is allowed to escape punishment, it emboldens other criminals and creates a vicious cycle of violence.
Further, she warned that as attacks on journalists are on the rise, UNESCO has spearheaded the
UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity which is working to end impunity by promoting concerted action among United Nations agencies, working across the world with governments, civil society, academia and the media itself.
“This work is bearing fruit,” she said. “The United Nations General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, as well as the United Nations Security Council have all adopted landmark resolutions specifically addressing these obstacles – as has the Council of Europe at the regional level,” added Ms. Bokova.
She further said that more and more States are now establishing laws and mechanisms to tackle impunity and improve safety of journalists and added that the judiciary systems and security forces have increased their engagement on the issues.
However, Ms. Bokova stressed that efforts must be redoubled to ensure the end of impunity for attacks on journalists, especially since societies are undergoing transformation at present.
She stressed that this must be necessitated to uphold Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states “right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Additionally, Ms. Bokova underscored that ensuring protection of journalists is also vital for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16.10, which aims to facilitate public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.
Lastly, she urged all countries to take measures through legislation, protection mechanisms and new sources to ensure that investigations and trials relating to crimes against journalists are undertaken.
“I urge everyone to stand up on November 2 and demand that the rule of law is fully applied when journalists are attacked and killed in the line of duty,” Ms. Bokova concluded.
The International Day, was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly to highlight the urgent need to protect journalists, and to commemorate the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November, 2013.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue
‘Silence is too often the only safe option left’ – new UN report on sources and whistleblowers
21.10. 2015. IFJ launches 2015 global campaign to end impunity for crimes against journalists
Brussels, 21 October 2015. - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today launched its annual global campaign to hold world governments and de facto governments accountable for impunity records for crimes targeting journalists.
The campaign will run from 2 November, the UN Day against impunity for crime targeting journalists, to 23 November 2015. The UN Day to end impunity was adopted on 18 December 2013 to be mark 2 November, the anniversary of the killings of two RFI reporters, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, murdered in Kidal, Mali in 2013. It comes ahead of 23 November which commemorates the 2009 Maguindanao massacre in the Philippines when at least 32 journalists lost their lives in the single deadliest attack on media.
In a letter addressed to its affiliates on 20 October, the IFJ has called for massive support to denounce any crime targeting journalists that remain unpunished the world over. Murder is the highest form of these crimes but “all attacks targeting journalists that remain unpunished must be denounced,” says the organisation.
The 2015 campaign will put a specific emphasis on four countries: Mexico, the Philippines, Ukraine and Yemen.
, 50 journalists and press workers have lost their lives in the course of their profession since 2010. According to the Mexican ‘National Human Rights Commission’ (CNDH) around 89% of cases of aggression are not solved.
IFJ has also recorded 15 journalists killed in Yemen
since 2011, ten of whom have died in 2015. In addition, 14 reporters remain captive as a consequence of the fighting between the Houthis, the Saudi led-coalition and al-Qaida. None of the perpetrators of the killings has been brought to justice.
Furthermore, the IFJ regrets that not a single person has been convicted for their involvement since the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre of 32 journalists in the Philippines
. Forty media workers were killed since 2009, including 7 in 2015, which makes the country the deadliest for journalists in South Asia.
In the meanwhole, fifteen years after the body of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze was found beheaded in the forest outside Kiev, a recent report
on the violations against journalists in the country records 8 killings, 125 intimidations, 322 assaults, 162 attempts of censorship and 196 cases of impeding activities since the beginning of 2014. If 54 investigations were launched, only three cases passed to court.
“Today only one out of 10 killings in the media is investigated," said the IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. “We urge all our affiliates to get involved in our campaign to denounce impunity, support our actions and run their own activities to show solidarity to those who struggle for telling the truth and their loved ones. Impunity not only endangers journalists. It imperils democracy and the right for the public to know. It is more than time for bringing those who kill the messengers to justice and we must relentlessly hold governments accountable for this.”
Somalia tops list of countries where journalists are murdered and killers go free
New York, October 8, 2015- The ambush of a convoy in South Sudan and the hacking deaths of bloggers in Bangladesh propelled the two nations onto the Committee to Protect Journalists' Global Impunity Index of countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go unpunished.
According to the report released today, "Getting Away With Murder
," the worst offender is Somalia, which edges Iraq out of that spot for the first time since CPJ began compiling the index
in 2008. One or more journalists have been murdered in Somalia every year over the past decade, and the government has proved unable or unwilling to investigate.
In Iraq, meanwhile, targeted killings have ebbed since the Iraq War. More recently, Islamic State has abducted and killed at least two journalists, but violence and fierce control of information have made it impossible for CPJ to accurately document additional cases.
Only Colombia has shown enough convictions in journalist murders and decrease in violence to exit the list since 2014.
"Despite calls by the United Nations for states to take greater steps to protect journalists in situations of armed conflict and to ensure accountability for crimes against the press, little progress has been made in combatting impunity worldwide," said Elisabeth Witchel, author of the report and CPJ's consultant on the Global Campaign Against Impunity
. "More than half of the countries on the index are democracies with functioning law enforcement and judicial institutions, but killers still go free. The international community must continue to put pressure on these governments to live up to their commitments."
In the past decade, 270 journalists have been murdered, CPJ research shows. Of those, 96 percent are local reporters. In only two percent of cases are the masterminds ever prosecuted.
07.10.2015. RUSSIA. Anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s death a grim reminder of impunity in Russia, says OSCE media freedom representative
BUCHAREST, 7 October 2015 – On the ninth anniversary of the death of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, today called on the government of the Russian Federation to end impunity for crimes committed against journalists.
“Politkovskaya paid the ultimate price for her life-long commitment to investigative journalism,” Mijatović said. “Her death is a grim reminder that journalists’ safety should be adequately addressed in the Russian Federation.”
Politkovskaya was shot and killed in Moscow on 7 October 2006 in the residential building where she lived. In 2003, she received the OSCE Prize for Journalism and Democracy for her courageous professional work in support of “human rights and freedom of the media”.
In June 2014 sentences were handed down to five individuals for the murder of Politkovskaya, a move which was welcomed by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. However, the investigation was unable to name the masterminds of the crime.
“Much more needs to be done to eradicate impunity for crimes committed against journalists,” Mijatović said. “Journalists play a pivotal role in advancing democracy and human rights, often at great personal risk.”
Mijatović is in Bucharest participating in an international conference on media freedom and combatting terrorism.
04.09.2015. PAKISTAN Two arrested for involvement in Baloch journalist’s murder (source RMN, Dawn)
QUETTA: Police and intelligence personnel have arrested two suspected militants for their alleged involvement in the murder of Baloch
journalist Irshad Mastoi and his colleagues in August last year.
This was stated by provincial Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti at a press conference he addressed along with IG Police Mohammad
Amlish and Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani on Tuesday.
He claimed that the accused had also confessed to having killed Habib Jalib Baloch, the secretary general of the Balocistan National
Party-Mengal, policemen and others.
Mastoi was bureau chief of the Online news agency and general secretary of the Balochistan Union of Journalists. He was shot dead
along with reporter Abdul Rasool and accountant Mohammad Younis on Aug 28, 2014 in their office.
Mr Bugti said the suspects belonged to the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA). Their statements of confession were presented to
journalists and they were also produced before media personnel.
They claimed that their next targets would have been Senator Hafiz Hamdullah of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and the vice-chairman of the
Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, Mama Qadeer.
The home minister said that initially it was a blind murder case but police and intelligence agencies kept trying to trace the men behind
the murders. “They succeeded in their efforts and arrested the accused involved in killing Irshad Mastoi, his reporter and accountant.”
He identified the accused as Shafqat Ali Rodani alias Naveed and Ibrahim Nachari alias Shah Jee.
“They were also involved in 31 cases of terrorist attacks, targeted killings, bomb blasts and other criminal activities,” he said, adding
that the suspects were currently still under interrogation.
In their confession statement, the accused gave details of the murder plot and objectives. According to Shafqat Ali, Ustad Aslam alias Aucho
was the mastermind of the plot and Sohail Marri the facilitator.
Shafqat Ali said that they walked into the Online office and opened fire at Mr Mastoi. Two other men at the office tried to stop him and
he fired at them as well.
In his confession, Shafqat Ali said his group wanted to use the killing in their propaganda at the UN and other forums against
intelligence agencies. He added that the plan to kill Senator Hamdullah and Mama Qadeer was made to pit the two factions of JUI
against each other.
The home minister claimed that adequate security had been provided to the Senator and Mama Qadeer.
He said that there were several camps of outlawed organisations in Balochistan to train militants, adding that a number of such camps had
been destroyed during operations carried out by security forces.
***28.08.2015. PHILIPPINES. Suspect in killing of radio broadcaster in Surigao del Sur arrested after six years (CMFR)
MEMBERS OF the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested on 18 August 2015 the suspect in the killing of a provincial radio broadcaster in Caloocan City, Metro Manila.
Joel Sabatin Namoc was arrested by the police on the strength of a warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court in Surigao del Sur in connection with the killing of radio broadcaster Godofredo Linao in July 2009. According to the CIDG website, Namoc was number 13 in the Most Wanted Person list, Regional level in Surigao del Sur with a Php90,000 monetary reward on his head.
CMFR previously reported that Godofredo Linao Jr. was shot by a gunman four times along the provincial road in Purok 1, Barobo town in the province of Surigao del Sur on 27 July 2009. The gunman was accompanied by another man who was waiting on a motorcycle approximately 20 meters from where the shooting happened.
Linao hosted the blocktime public affairs program Straight to the Point with Romy Santiago over Radyo Natin (Our Radio) in Bislig City. According to Radyo Natin station manager Mario Alviso, the program was sponsored by Vice Governor Librado Navarro of Surigao del Sur, for whom Linao also worked as a spokesperson.
In Philippine broadcast practice, a blocktimer is an individual who purchases “blocks” of TV or radio time for sponsorship. Among those journalists killed in the Philippines since 2002 are 43 blocktimers and “volunteer” practitioners who are not paid by the TV or radio station where they have programs.
***21.08.2015. Brazilian photojournalist's killer gets 14 years in prison
The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the conviction and sentencing Wednesday of Alessandro Neves Augusto for the murder of Walgney Assis de Carvalho, a freelance photographer shot dead in Minas Gerais state in 2013, and urges authorities to continue investigating to find the mastermind.
Augusto, known as Pitote, was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 14 years and three months in prison for killing Carvalho in the town of Coronel Fabriciano, the prosecutor in the trial, Juliana da Silva Pinto, told CPJ on Wednesday via telephone.
The conviction comes almost two months after Augusto was sentenced to 16 years in jail for the murder of Carvalho's colleague Rodrigo Neto, and the attempted murder of a man who was with Neto at the time, the local Diario do Aço reported. The two sentences will run consecutively and Augusto plans to appeal, da Silva Pinto told CPJ.
"We praise Brazilian authorities for this conviction in the murder of Walgney Assis de Carvalho," said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas. "While this is an encouraging sign, in this case the chain of accountability has ended with the gunman. We urge Brazilian authorities to identify and prosecute the mastermind and put an end to the cycle of deadly violence against the local press."
The court heard that on April 14, 2013, Carvalho, a 43-year-old contributor to the daily Vale do Aço, was shot in the back by Augusto as he sat at a popular fishing hole and restaurant.
Da Silva Pinto said jurors were told that Augusto killed Carvalho to silence him after the photographer told friends he had information about Neto's murder. Augusto was found guilty of shooting Neto a month before, on March 8, 2013, while Neto was getting into a car after a barbecue in the town of Ipatinga, according to news reports.
Neto was the host of the show "Plantão Policial" (Police Shift) on Rádio Vanguarda in Ipatinga and had started working the week before as a reporter at the daily Vale do Aço. He was also a press aide to the local mayor, according to Fernando Benedito Jr, a journalist in Ipatinga and a friend of Neto. Neto aggressively covered police corruption throughout his career and was frequently threatened in relation to his reporting, Benedito told CPJ.
Brazil has experienced a sharp spike in deadly violence against the press in recent years, according to CPJ research. At least 16 journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work since 2011, CPJ research shows. Brazil is ranked eleventh on CPJ's 2014 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go unpunished. However, in the past two years there have been seven convictions in cases of murdered journalists, including the one this week.
In a meeting with a CPJ delegation in May 2014, President Dilma Rousseff pledged to continue fighting against impunity in cases of killed journalists. Rousseff told CPJ her administration would implement a mechanism to prevent deadly attacks, protect journalists under imminent threat, and support legislative efforts to federalize crimes against free expression. Rousseff said her administration had the political will to pursue a goal of "zero impunity" in journalists' murders.
***25.06.2015. COLOMBIA. Historic conviction of mastermind in Colombian journalist's murder
A Colombian court sentenced the mastermind of a journalist’s murder to 36 years in prison on Wednesday in a landmark conviction that followed years of lobbying for justice by local journalists.Politician Francisco Ferney Tapasco González was convicted for ordering the 2002 killing of Orlando Sierra Hernández, a muckraking columnist and deputy editor of the daily La Patria in the central city of Manizales, media reported. Sierra, 42, was shot in the head three times in front of his daughter.
The ruling was a victory for journalists who have been battling for years to end chronic impunity in Colombia. The Bogotá-based Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) said it was the first time that everyone involved in a journalist’s murder had been jailed.
“After 13 years we finally have justice for Orlando Sierra whose case highlighted all that was rotten in the Colombian legal system,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas, from New York. “This shows what journalists can achieve when they band together: impunity does not have to be the norm and the powerful can be held accountable.”
The Manizales court decision came after years of delays, the killings of witnesses, and controversial judicial rulings. The court also convicted Fabio López Escobar and Jorge Hernando López Escobar in the Sierra case and sentenced them to nearly 29 years in prison. Tapasco, who has a lengthy criminal record, was also convicted in 2010 for working with paramilitary death squads, according to news reports.
Sierra frequently accused prominent politicians from the local Liberal and Conservative parties of nepotism, vote buying, and looting public coffers. Tapasco was a former mayor and veteran political boss in Manizales, capital of Caldas province, northwest of Bogotá. He also served in the state assembly and was president of the Liberal Party in Caldas.
Sierra began receiving death threats in the late 1990s after writing about how Tapasco had been removed from office following the discovery that in the 1970s he had been convicted of selling military ration cards while serving as mayor of Supia, a municipality in Caldas.
According to CPJ research, Sierra publicly backed the legal process to remove Tapasco and also used his column to highlight Tapasco’s conviction for concealing information about the 1991 murder of a schoolteacher in Caldas. Sierra also investigated possible links between Tapasco and a death squad. Shortly before his death he had told colleagues that if anything happened to him Tapasco would be to blame.
Sierra was shot and wounded on January 30, 2002 outside the La Patria office. He died two days later. On the day of the shooting police arrested 21-year-old Luis Fernando Soto Zapata, who later confessed to the crime. Soto was sentenced to 19 years in prison but served only five due to good behavior. In July 2008 Soto died in a clash with the police in the city of Cali.
Fearing the Sierra murder would remain unsolved, seven Colombian newspapers and magazines formed Project Manizales to try to investigate the case. The Sierra killing was also the subject of a documentary, “The Battle of Silence.”
But despite a mounting body of evidence, Tapasco was only linked to the case three years later and his trial started a full decade after the killing, according to FLIP. By then, FLIP said in a statement, nine witnesses had been murdered. In 2013, a judge declared Tapasco innocent of the Sierra murder.
But the case was appealed by government prosecutors and by the Inspector General’s office which monitors the behavior of judicial officials. In handing down the sentences on Wednesday, the court said that Sierra’s columns criticizing Tapasco “generated resentment towards Sierra Hernández for asking questions about his power, his political leadership. (Tapasco) would not allow anyone to interfere with him,” according to news reports.
“This Attorney General’s office has been on top of this case for many years and we have had many roadblocks, such as the earlier not-guilty verdict,” Assistant Attorney General Jorge Fernando Perdomo said in a statement. “That decision has now been overturned. We hope this brings to a close a very important case.”
Although security in Colombia has improved in recent years, impunity is entrenched and threats and violence against journalists continue, according to CPJ research. Problems such as overburdened prosecutors and mishandling of evidence have delayed criminal investigations for years. Colombia ranked eighth on CPJ's 2014 Impunity Index, an annual survey spotlighting countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free. On May 26, President Juan Manuel Santos told CPJ he would prioritize combating impunity in attacks against the press and would urge judicial authorities to speed up investigations.
***24.06.2015. BRAZIL. Gunman convicted in 2013 murder of Brazilian journalist
The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the conviction on Friday of the gunman in the 2013 murder of Brazilian journalist Rodrigo Neto and calls on authorities to ensure all those responsible, including the mastermind, are brought to justice."The murder of Rodrigo Neto has exemplified Brazil's entrenched impunity, and CPJ welcomes every step toward justice in his case," said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas. "Authorities must build on this momentum to identify and prosecute the mastermind and then double down on their efforts to find justice for the more than dozen Brazilian journalists murdered in recent years."
Neto was shot dead on March 8, 2013, by a man on the back of a motorcycle, according to news reports. The journalist died in a hospital in Ipatinga, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. Neto was the host of the show "Plantão Policial" (Police Shift) on Rádio Vanguarda in Ipatinga and had begun working as a reporter at the daily Vale do Aço the week before the attack. He frequently received threats, especially for his coverage of cases in which police were suspected of involvement in local murders, Fernando Benedito Jr., a journalist in Ipatinga and a friend of Neto, told CPJ at the time.
A court sentenced Alessandro Neves Augusto, known as "Pitote," to 16 years in prison on charges of carrying out Neto's murder, according to news reports. Neves was already in custody at the time of his sentence. In August 2014, former police officer Lúcio Lírio Leal was sentenced to 12 years in prison for participating in the planning of Neto's murder, according to news reports. Both men denied the charges and Neves alleged that he was being framed by the local police, according to local reports.
Authorities are still investigating to determine the motive and mastermind, according to news reports.
Neves has also been charged with carrying out the murder in April 2013 of Walgney Assis Carvalho, a freelance crime photographer who also contributed to Vale do Aço, according to news reports. His trial in that case begins in August, the reports said.
In his court testimony in Neves' case, police chief Emerson Morais said he believed that Carvalho had been killed because the journalist had apparently told people that he knew who had killed Neto, according to news reports. Morais said that authorities were looking into Neto's critical reports as the primary line of investigation.
CPJ has documented a sharp increase in lethal, anti-press violence in Brazil in recent years. At least 14 journalists have been killed in direct retaliation for their work since 2011, CPJ research shows. While Brazil has achieved an impressive number of convictions in recent years--six in the past two years, including these two most recent cases--the ongoing violence led the country to be ranked 11th on CPJ's 2014 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go unpunished.
In a meeting with a CPJ delegation in May 2014, President Dilma Rousseff pledged to continue fighting against impunity in cases of killed journalists. Rousseff told CPJ her administration would implement a mechanism to prevent deadly attacks, protect journalists under imminent risk, and support legislative efforts to federalize crimes against free expression. Rousseff said her administration had the political will to pursue a goal of "zero impunity" in journalists' murders.
***09.06.2015. BURKINA FASO: Historic ruling calls on Burkina Faso to investigate Norbert Zongo's murder
Reporters Without Borders hails the historic ruling that the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights issued on 5 June in the case of Norbert Zongo, a Burkina Faso newspaper editor who was murdered together with three other people in 1998.
The court ordered Burkina Faso's authorities to “resume the investigations with a view to finding, charging and trying the perpetrators of the murders of Norbert Zongo and his three companions.”
It also ordered the Burkina Faso state to pay compensation of 25 million CFA francs (38,000 euros) to the spouses of each of the four victims, 15 million CFA francs to each of their children and 10 million to each of their parents.
“This ruling constitutes a major turning-point in the Zongo case, which has suffered appallingly from the impunity tolerated for all these years by Burkina Faso's justice system,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk.
“This puts additional pressure on the authorities to keep the promises of justice initially given at the time of the November 2014 political transition. The reparations demanded for the families of the victims are an acknowledgment of the suffering they endured. We hope the authorities will seize this opportunity to redress an injustice that has lasted for too long.” The founder and editor of the weekly L'Indépendant, Zongo was murdered while investigating the suspected implication of President Blaise Compaoré's brother in his driver's murder. The Zongo murder investigation was closed in 2006, without any one being found guilty, in a decision that outraged civil society and human rights defenders.
In a previous decision issued in March 2014, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights ruled that Burkina Faso had failed to properly investigate the Zongo murder.
After President Compaoré was ousted last November, transitional President Michel Kafando announced that steps would be taken to combat impunity, raising hopes that the Zongo case would be quickly reopened. An investigating judge was appointed but no tangible progress has been seen since then.
The government now has six months to submit a report on the progress achieved in the Zongo case.
***23.04.2015. NEPAL. Mastermind convicted in 2009 murder of Nepali journalist Uma Singh
Kathmandu, April 23, 2015-The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the conviction and sentencing on Wednesday of the mastermind in the 2009 murder of journalist Uma Singh. A court in the district of Dhanusha convicted Umesh Yadav of ordering Singh's murder and sentenced him to life in prison, according to local news reports.
"The conviction of the mastermind in Uma Singh's murder is a step toward addressing the climate of impunity in Nepal," said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz from New York. "We hope that six years on, Singh's family and colleagues can find solace in the scales of justice that tipped in favor of accountability and rule of law."
Singh, a reporter for Janakpur Today and Radio Today, was stabbed to death in her home in Janakpur on January 11, 2009. Police arrested Yadav, a former Maoist, in September 2013 for ordering Singh's murder. Two others were sentenced to life terms in 2011 in connection with her killing. The Federation of Nepali Journalists found that Singh's murder was related to her work. The journalist had been very critical of Maoists in her region and had reported on alleged land expropriation by Maoists, according to reports.
In 90 percent of all murder cases, there has been total impunity-no arrests, no prosecutions, no convictions, CPJ research shows. In dozens of cases around the world, masterminds have eluded arrest and investigations have failed to go beyond lower-level suspects, CPJ research shows. While Nepal in 2013 dropped off CPJ's Impunity Index-which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free-threats and violence against journalists continue, CPJ research shows.
***25.02.2015. PAKISTAN. Irshad Mastoi: Journalist's murder probe complete
QUETTA: The Balochistan government has yet to decide whether or not it should make public a judicial commission's report on the targeted killing of a senior journalist in Quetta Irshad Mastoi, bureau chief of Online news distribution agency, as
well as a reporter Abdul Rasul and an accountant Mohammed Younus were killed on August 28, 2014 while they were at work in their office in downtown Quetta.
After the incident, Balochistan High Court (BHC) had formed a judicial commission, which recorded statements of witnesses to probe the killing.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Durrani said judicial commission had submitted its report around two weeks ago.
"The report is sent to Balochistan chief minister and chief secretary and they will decide whether it should be made public or not," he said.
"We asked the commission to probe murder cases of 14 Balochistan journalists. However, the commission has submitted a report on the triple murder case," he said.
He said the remaining murder cases will be referred to a sessions court judge as the high court does not have enough judges to look after such a huge number of cases.
The home secretary, however, disputed the figure of Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ), which claims that as many as 40 journalists have so far been killed in Balochistan since 2007 "We have compiled the list of those who are journalists and do not have other jobs," he said.
Commenting on the issue, the BUJ President Irfan Saeed said they demand judicial investigation into all the 40 cases. He said he will not comment on the report until he himself reviews it.
Meanwhile, other BUJ members said they have the complete list of the murdered media men, adding that they challenged government officials to debate on the number of journalists killed in Balochistan.
They said the government had not properly investigated even a single murder case.
Insurgency-hit Balochistan is one of the worst places in the world for journalists as it faces multiple issues like militancy, extremism, sectarian violence and proxy wars.
Source: Express Tribune