The Philippines is the forth worst country in the world for the murder of journalists and other media workers.
In a report, “Getting Away with Murder,” the Global Impunity Index of New York watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists placed the Philippines in fourth position.
Somalia beat Iraq into second position while the Philippines dropped one position.
The index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers either go free, or the country cannot or does not want to find their killers.
“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 combating 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,” Ms Witchel added.
“The numbers show that the political will needed to prosecute those who silence journalists, many of whom investigate corruption or report critically on local leadership, is absent,” the report said.
In 2015 the index included a total of 14 countries, in 2014 the index only had 13 countries listed.
“Though it has dropped to fourth from third on the Impunity Index, the Philippines remains the only country within the top five impunity offenders not engulfed by conflict and acute political instability,” the report said.
The report noted that the Philippines would receive the number one placement if it was based on political stability within any country in the world.
The report noted that 44 media killings have happened within the country since September of 2005 – seven were under President Benigno Aquino III.
“Justice for the 32 media victims and 26 others slaughtered in the 2009 massacre in Maguindanao appears more elusive than ever. No one has yet been convicted of the crime and, after six years of protracted legal proceedings, the suspected mastermind has now died of natural causes,” the report noted.
It added that while the 2013 conviction of the gunman in the murder of journalist Gerardo Ortega “was a welcome advance” the suspected masterminds behind his death – former Former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and his brother, former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes – have yet to stand trial.
To add insult to injury the brothers have recently submitted their COC’s to become mayor and vice mayor of Coron.
The brothers are currently being held in prison in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Somalia took first place this year after the study showed a study rise in death tolls year after years over the past decade.
Somalia has been plagued with political instability over the past twenty years due to civil war within its borders.
“In April, unidentified armed men broke into the home of Daud Ali Omar at night and killed him and his wife while they were sleeping. Daud was a producer for a privately owned, pro-government radio station, and local journalists and police said they suspected Al-Shabaab was responsible,” the report said.
Iraq, though slipping into second place, still is beset with killings of journalists throughout the country. So far only one conviction has ever been noted or achieved.
“Syria is the world’s most dangerous place for journalists, with record numbers of abductions and attacks committed not only by Islamic State but other militant factions as well as forces loyal to the Assad regime,” the report said.
The list below reflects those countries noted as the top 14 which partake in impunity issues related to the killing of journalists in the world:
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
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