Iraq has most unsolved murders of journalists: Watchdog

Iraq, Somalia, Philippines topped list by Committee to Protect Journalists.

Baghdad: Unsolved violence against media in Mexico rose sharply in 2010 but Iraq remained worst in the world when it comes to punishing murders of reporters, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Wednesday.

The war-wracked country topped the list, published by the New York-based press watchdog to spotlight countries where media killings often go unpunished, for the fourth year running with an unsolved murder rate more than three times that of Somalia, which was next worst.

The CPJ, whose "Impunity Index" calculates the number of unsolved murders of reporters in each country per one million residents, noted grimly that "the countries at the top of the index -- Iraq, Somalia and the Philippines -- showed either no improvement or even worsening records."

Overall, 13 countries made the list with five or more unsolved journalist deaths from 2001 until the end of 2010.

Iraq, which has been at the top of the list since the CPJ first compiled it in 2008, had 92 deaths, equating to a rate of 2.921 unsolved media murders per one million residents.

Somalia, with 10 unsolved murders, was next with 1.099, while the Philippines was third with 56 deaths and a rating of 0.609.

The rest of the list included Sri Lanka with nine unpunished media killings, Colombia with 11, Afghanistan with seven, Nepal with six, Mexico with 13, Russia with 16, Pakistan with 14, Bangladesh with five, Brazil with five and India with seven.

The CPJ in particular noted that anti-press violence was on the rise in Mexico, "where authorities appear powerless in bringing killers to justice".

It highlighted, however, that "Colombia continued a years-long pattern of improvement ... while conditions in Bangladesh reflected a slight upturn."

Bureau Report

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