NEW YORK, April 17: Deadly, unpunished violence against the press rose sharply in Pakistan and Mexico, continuing a dark, years-long trend in both nations, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in its newly updated Impunity Index released on Tuesday.
The global index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population, shows that Pakistani authorities routinely fail to bring prosecutions in journalist murders, including several with suspected government links, while Mexican officials are yet to effectively combat the murderous crime groups targeting news media in vast parts of the nation.
The New York-based watchdog group said that with 19 unsolved cases, Pakistan’s rating has worsened considerably in recent years. Intelligence and military officials are suspected to have played a role in a number of cases. In the months before he was murdered, for example, reporter Saleem Shahzad’s old friends and colleagues said he was being threatened by the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
But the case, as with others, has not been credibly investigated by the government. After intense domestic and international outcry, Pakistan’s government ordered a commission of inquiry into the Shahzad killing — but the resulting report was widely criticised for shying away from an examination of the intelligence service’s possible role.
CPJ’s index found improving conditions in Colombia and Nepal, along with a long-term decline in deadly, anti-press violence in Bangladesh that caused that country to drop off the list entirely.