For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
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 has found in its newly updated Impunity Index. 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.
4 SRI LANKA
The government of Mahinda Rajapaksa has failed to prosecute any perpetrators in the nine murders that have taken place during his time in power, first as prime minister and then president. All of the victims had reported on politically sensitive issues in ways that were critical of the government. In 2006, for example, Tamil reporter Subramaniyam Sugitharajah was slain weeks after he reported on the killing of five Tamil students. Sugitharajah’s photographs revealed the students died of gunshot wounds—contradicting military accounts that they were killed by their own grenade. In recent months, government officials have issued brazen public threats of violence against their critics, an alarming development given that 60 percent of Sri Lankan victims were known to have received threats before they were killed.
Impunity Index Rating: 0.431 unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants
Last year: Ranked 4th with a rating of 0.443
for full report CPJ Impunity Index