In a report titled ‘Getting Away With Murder’, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked Pakistan as the 10th most dangerous country in the world for journalists.
The 2011 CPJ impunity index “spotlights countries where journalists are slain and killers go free”.
Topping the list is Iraq, with 92 unsolved journalists’ murder cases. Pakistan is ranked number 10, followed by Bangladesh, Brazil and India.
The index calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.
“The findings of the 2011 Impunity Index lay bare the stark choices that governments face: Either address the issue of violence against journalists head-on or see murders continue and self-censorship spread,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “
First published in 2008, CPJ’s annual Impunity Index identifies countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes.
For this latest index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010, and that remain unsolved. Only the 13 nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained.
Last month, 40-year-old journalist Saleem Shahzad was found dead two days after he vanished after leaving home in Islamabad to appear on a television talk show. His body was found days after he published article about links between rogue elements of the navy and al Qaeda.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik confirmed that a police investigation had been ordered and promised a reward of nearly $30,000.
But reporters and press groups say previous enquiries into the killings of journalists have not been made public and said they expected little this time.
Reporters Without Borders says that 16 journalists have now been killed since the start of 2010 in Pakistan, which it ranks 151st out of 178 countries in its press freedom index.