Nigeria among countries where journalists are killed with impunity — Report

Journalists
Pictures of Nigerian journalists interviewing someone [Photo: BBC]

Nigeria has been listed among the 12 countries in the world where journalists are slain and the killers evade justice.

The country is ranked 11th out of the 12, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ.

The report – annual Global Impunity Index – says five journalists in Nigeria have been killed “with complete impunity” in the past decade.

The report said the extremist group Boko Haram and unknown assailants were responsible for the killings.

Those targeted for murder in Nigeria were local journalists covering war, politics, and human rights, according to the report.

The report mentioned the October 2011 murder of Zakariya Isa, a reporter and cameraman for the state-run Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, which Boko Haram claimed responsibility for.

The violent attack on Ebonyi journalist, Charles Otu, in June and other nonfatal attacks are documented as a setback for the country.

Mr. Otu, a reporter with the Guardian newspaper, was abducted and beaten up by thugs, who warned him to stop writing reports that were critical to the Ebonyi state government.

Somalia tops the list with 26 unresolved cases in which journalists have been murdered for doing their work.

Militant groups like al-Shabaab and government officials, the report said, were responsible for the killing of journalists in the East African country. Syria, Iraq and South Sudan occupy the second, third and fourth position on the list.

The Philippines, Mexico, Pakistan, Brazil, and Russia are ranked fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. Bangladesh occupies the 10th position, while India is 12th.

“CPJ’s Impunity Index calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population,” the report says of the methodology used for the ranking.

“For this index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between September 1, 2007, and August 31, 2017, and that remain unsolved.

“Only those nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on this index. CPJ defines murder as a deliberate attack against a specific journalist in relation to the victim’s work,” the report said.

CPJ said that international attention to the issue of impunity in journalist murders has increased in the past 10 years.

“The United Nations has adopted a total of five resolutions – three by the Human Rights Council, one by the General Assembly and the one by the Security Council – urging states to take measures to promote justice when journalists are attacked,” the group said.


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