CPJ: India among 12 countries where killers of journalists can go free

When it comes to prosecuting killers of journalists, India is one of the worst countries in the world, according to a report, “Killers of journalists still get away with murder” released by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

November 2 is observed annually as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.’ 

The Global Impunity Index 2021 lists 12 countries where members of the press are discarded for murder and their murderers go free. India has been on the list regularly since 2018 and is ranked 12th, similar to its rank last year.

Now in the top 12 list, India as well as 11 other countries “account for 81% of the global total of unsolved murders of journalists” in the past decade, the report said.

While the top five spots are occupied by Somalia, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and Afghanistan, 20 unsolved murders find itself in the list.

About 35 Indian journalists have been murdered for their work since 1992.

Cases without convictions in India include Gauri Lankesh and Shujaat Bhukhari. Lankesh was shot dead by Hindutva assailants in Karnataka in 2017, and Bhukhari, was shot dead in Kashmir in 2016.

This year, three new names were added in the list of unsolved murders of journalists in India in the Global Impunity Index 2021.

The three names include a local news channel EV-5 journalist in Andhra Pradesh, Chennakesavulu who was stabbed to death for exposing a constable’s illegal activities. The second is journalist from ABP News, and ABP Ganga- Sulabh Srivastava, who was also killed for his work a day after he complained about receiving threats, and the third was Sudarshan TV reporter Manish Kumar Singh.

At least 22 journalists were singled out globally in 2020 for murder in retaliation for their work, more than double the total for 2019, as per CPJ reports.

According to the 2021 Reporters Without Borders report, India ranks 142 (out of 180 countries) on the World Press Freedom Index — among the worst countries where “there have been constant press freedom violations, including police violence against journalists, ambushes by political activists, and reprisals instigated by criminal groups or corrupt local officials.”

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