Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan are the top three countries in Africa where impunity reigns and people who feel threatened by the works of journalists can kill them and go scot-free. This is according to a new report by the Community to Protect Journalists (CPJ). However, things have improved in Nigeria which currently has five unsolved cases as regards murder of journalists in the country. Somalia and South Sudan also recorded improvements.
Every year, hundreds of journalists are attacked, imprisoned, or killed across the world. Recently, Saudi journalist Jamal bin Ahmad Khashoggi was killed in Turkey in a murder suspected to be state-sanctioned. Khashoggi was a well-known critic of the Saudi crown. For more than three decades, CPJ has been defending the rights of journalists and fight for press freedom to ensure that killings such as Khashoggi’s end.
According to CPJ’s 2018 Global Impunity Index, which ranks states with the worst records of prosecuting the killers of journalists, impunity is entrenched in 14 nations, with Somalia which is just recovering from years of conflict topping the list for the fourth year in a row.
South Sudan ranked 4th on the list with five unsolved cases and Nigeria 13th.
Over the last 10 years, no fewer than 324 journalists have been killed worldwide and in 85 percent of these cases, no perpetrators have been convicted. The CPJ notes that this emboldens those seeking to censor and control the media through violence.
CPJ’s Impunity Index calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population. For this index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between September 1, 2008, and August 31, 2018, and remain unsolved. Only nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index.
Also published on Medium.