Friday, June 3, 2011

Nepal : 7th/13 dangerous countries for press

Nepal ranked 7th among 13 most dangerous countries for journalists in the world by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a US-based media watchdog. The organization has updated its 2011 Impunity Index and released on 1 June 2011.
In its full report titled Getting Away with Murder, the CPJ said that Iraq remains at the top of the list for the fourth consecutive year for violence against journalists, where none of the 92 murdered journalist cases were solved.
According to the CPJ website, impunity is the main factor in evaluating the levels of freedom of journalists and speech. Unsolved anti-press crimes most often result to restriction of the freedom of the press.
The 12 other countries that received the shameful distinction in descending order based on number of murdered journalists per one million population are: Somalia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Mexico, Russia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil and India.
The Philippines maintained its third most dangerous country for journalists status from last year when the watchdog recorded 69 crimes since 1992.
The CPJ stated, "Initial trial proceedings in the Maguindanao killings have been plagued by threats and bribes targeting witnesses, and incompetence and corruption among local investigators. The slow-moving prosecution has yielded no convictions thus far. "In countries with weak law enforcement, political reporting is the most dangerous beat. Among the unsolved cases on this index, nearly 30 percent of victims had covered politics."
First published in 2008, the Impunity Index gauges countries where media people are killed regularly and the state fail to have them solved. When no convictions are made, they are considered unsolved.
Nepal's part on the report :
Six local reporters and editors have been murdered with complete impunity in the past decade. Maoist cadres are suspected in a number of the killings, including the 2007 murder of reporter Birendra Shah, whose coverage had been critical of what was then an armed Maoist insurgency. After joining the government in 2008, Maoist leaders pledged to investigate the numerous press freedom violations that had been ascribed to their members, including several non-fatal attacks and abductions. Yet no evident progress has been made in achieving justice.
Impunity Index Rating: 0.205 unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants.
Last year: Ranked 7th with a rating of 0.210.

To read full report click here.