India

2014


Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burma, Cameroon, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

China is world's worst jailer of the press; global tally second worst on record

More than 200 journalists are imprisoned for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism. China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari

An Egyptian protester calls for the release of freelance photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who has been imprisoned since August 2013. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine

The Road to Justice

Breaking the Cycle of Impunity in the Killing of Journalists

The lack of justice in hundreds of murders of journalists around the world is one of the greatest threats to press freedom today. While international attention to the issue has grown over the past decade, there has been little progress in bringing down rates of impunity. States will have to demonstrate far more political will to implement international commitments to make an impact on the high rates of targeted violence that journalists routinely face. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists


October 28, 2014 12:01 AM ET

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Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

About This Report

Elisabeth Witchel, the founder of CPJ’s Global Campaign Against Impunity, is the lead author of this report. Witchel launched the campaign in 2007 and has compiled five editions of the organization’s annual Global Impunity Index as well as several other major reports. She has worked in human rights and journalism for more than 15 years and participated in missions to Pakistan, Nepal, and the Philippines, among others. In 2010, she organized CPJ’s Impunity Summit, bringing together 40 representatives from more than 20 press freedom organizations to identify challenges and strategies to combat impunity in violence against journalists.

October 28, 2014 12:00 AM ET

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Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

1. What Does Impunity Mean?

In 1981, the year CPJ was founded, Argentina was enmeshed in the so-called Dirty War, in which dozens of journalists were disappeared. Most were never seen again. To this day, no one has systematically documented the media murders that took place, and no one knows precisely how many journalists perished. Not surprisingly, given the information void, there was little international attention on journalists’ disappearances or the broader human rights catastrophe that many of the murdered reporters were seeking to cover.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

2. Measuring Progress Against Stubborn Reality

In November 2013, the United Nations General Assembly put the issue of impunity squarely on the global agenda.

The Resolution on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, adopted by consensus, describes the absence of justice for victims as “one of the main challenges to strengthening the protection of journalists.” It calls on states to “ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy, and effective investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction.” Governments are further charged to “bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice and to ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.” The resolution proclaims November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

3. Where Impunity Thrives

A climate of impunity reached a tragic culmination on November 23, 2009, when gunmen ambushed a caravan escorting political candidate Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu as he prepared to file papers to become a candidate for provincial governor in the Philippines. The attackers slaughtered 58 people, among them 30 journalists and two media workers, the largest toll of journalists murdered in a single act since CPJ began keeping track in 1992.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

4. Steps That Work and Those That Don’t

On May 3, 2011, CPJ representatives traveled to Pakistan to raise concerns about the increasing attacks against journalists there and the country’s high rate of impunity. It was a moment of drama: The previous day, American forces had killed Osama bin Laden in nearby Abbottabad. But Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari kept his commitment and met CPJ to discuss the growing number of Pakistani journalists murdered because of their work, and the absence of prosecution against the assailants.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

5. Building Pressure, Enforcing Compliance

The United Nations has escalated its focus on journalist killings, declaring that unpunished attacks against journalists are a major threat not only to press freedom, but also to all major areas of the U.N.’s work. In recent years, it has adopted two resolutions addressing journalists’ safety and impunity and launched a plan of action. These have come on top of existing Security Council Resolution 1738, which condemns attacks against journalists in conflict. “There must be no impunity for those who target journalists for violence,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon proclaimed in a statement in the run-up to World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2014.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

Conclusion

Today the fight against impunity has reached an important juncture. There is awareness on domestic and global levels of the extreme peril posed to journalists and the public’s right to information when violence against the press is met with official inaction. The cries for justice by freedom of expression advocates have been amplified by the U.N.’s endorsement and its designation of the first International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

Appendix I

At least 370 journalists have been murdered in direct connection to their work from the beginning of 2004 through 2013, according to CPJ research. In 333 of the cases, no one has been convicted. In 28 cases, some suspects have been sentenced, or killed in the course of apprehension, but others believed to be connected to or to have ordered the crime remain free. Nine cases have reached complete justice, meaning all of the perpetrators, including the crime’s mastermind, have been convicted. CPJ maintains detailed records on journalists killings from 1992 to the present. For additional information, please visit http://cpj.org/killed.

October 28, 2014 12:00 AM ET

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Blog   |   India

Big businesses attempt to muzzle critical reporting in India

This month Keya Acharya is responding to a nine-page legal notice demanding she pay 1 billion rupees ($16.3 million) over her article on India's rose industry. Her legal troubles are a window on to a pattern of how big businesses are using India's outdated defamation laws to silence criticism of their operations.

October 7, 2014 1:20 PM ET

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Alerts   |   India

In Telangana, India, 70 members of press detained, two channels blocked, media threatened

New York, September 11, 2014--Scores of journalists and media workers were briefly detained Tuesday and Wednesday in India's newly carved state of Telangana after protesting the blocking of two local TV news channels, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detentions and calls on the state's chief minister to stop using incendiary language against the press.

Blog   |   India

Slideshow: Raising awareness on India's troubling Internet laws

Today, the Global Network Initiative launched a campaign to raise awareness on India's Internet laws. The GNI, of which CPJ is a founding member, is a coalition of technology companies--including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo--and human rights groups and Internet freedom advocates.  The coalition, in collaboration with the Internet and Mobile Association of India, has created an interactive slideshow that explains the impact of current laws and regulations on the country’s Internet users.

Blog   |   India, Internet

Worrisome curbs on free speech emerge since Modi's election

Earlier this month, Indian authorities arrested seven people for publishing a photo of India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, alongside figures such as George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, and Adolf Hitler, under the headline, "Negative Faces." The seven, who could face lengthy prison terms if convicted, are but the latest Indians facing criminal proceedings for their critical views of Modi, a trend that is raising concerns about freedom of expression and press freedom under India's new leadership.

Alerts   |   India

Arrests made in murder of Indian journalist in Odisha state

New York, June 9, 2014--Police arrested two suspects on Sunday in connection with the recent murder of a local journalist in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of Tarun Kumar Acharya, confirm the motive, and bring the perpetrators to justice. 

June 9, 2014 4:54 PM ET

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Blog   |   India

Q&A: Indian journalist Sudhir Dhawale discusses his release from prison

After languishing in jail for 40 months, Mumbai-based journalist and activist Sudhir Dhawale has walked free. Dhawale was the only journalist in jail in India in late 2013, according to CPJ's annual prison census. With his release, there are currently no other journalists behind bars in the country for work-related reasons. 

June 3, 2014 4:00 PM ET

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Statements   |   India, Pakistan

Indian reporters in Pakistan facing expulsion

New York, May 9, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that Pakistani authorities might decline to renew visas for the only two Indian journalists working in the country. Authorities on Thursday informed Meena Menon, a correspondent for The Hindu, and Snehesh Alex Philip, a correspondent for the Press Trust of India, that their visas would not be renewed and that they would need to leave the country in one week, The Wall Street Journal reported. CPJ calls on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to honor pledges he made to CPJ earlier this year to ease visa restrictions for foreign journalists. 

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria

Getting Away With Murder

CPJ’s 2014 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free

Iraq

Unsolved Murders: 100

Population: 32.6 million

Rank: 1

Somalia

Unsolved Murders: 26

Population: 10.2 million

Rank: 2

The Philippines

Unsolved Murders: 51

Population: 96.7 million

Rank: 3

Sri Lanka

Unsolved Murders: 9

Population: 20.3 million

Rank: 4

Syria

Unsolved Murders: 7

Population: 22.4 million

Rank: 5

Afghanistan

Unsolved Murders: 5

Population: 29.8 million

Rank: 6

Mexico

Unsolved Murders: 16

Population: 120.8 million

Rank: 7

Colombia

Unsolved Murders: 6

Population: 47.7 million

Rank: 8

Pakistan

Unsolved Murders: 22

Population: 179.2 million

Rank: 9

Russia

Unsolved Murders: 14

Population: 143.5 million

Rank: 10

Brazil

Unsolved Murders: 9

Population: 198.7 million

Rank: 11

Nigeria

Unsolved Murders: 5

Population: 168.8 million

Rank: 12

India

Unsolved Murders: 7

Population: 1,237 million

Rank: 13

Case   |   India

Indian journalist abducted, raped in Uttar Pradesh

A female journalist was gang-raped while on assignment in the Mirzapur district in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on March 27, 2014, according to news reports. The journalist, who works with a Haridwar-based daily in the neighboring state of Uttarakhand, was working on a story about a historic pilgrimage site in the area, the reports said.

April 1, 2014 12:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   India

Modi's rise does not bode well for Indian press freedom

Narendra Modi is the prime ministerial candidate for India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in elections to be held in April. (AP/Tsering Topgyal)

As India is set to hold elections next month, journalists covering Narendra Modi, India's right-wing prime ministerial candidate, are reportedly coming under increased pressure online and in the newsroom for shedding critical light on him. Given these developments, free and independent reporting of the campaign is in doubt--as is the future climate for press freedom should the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) become prime minister.

Attacks on the Press   |   India

Attacks on the Press in 2013: India

Despite India's rising global profile, authorities used both antiquated and advanced techniques to threaten press freedom. One journalist remained imprisoned on anti-state charges, while the government implemented a surveillance system designed to monitor citizens' phone calls, text messages, and Internet communication, making it difficult for journalists to communicate privately with sources. India ranked second, behind only the United States, in the number of requests for user data made to Facebook and Google. Several journalists were attacked over the year, while at least two said they were assaulted by police. A female photojournalist was gang-raped while on assignment in Mumbai. In March, reporter Naveen Soorinje, who was imprisoned for documenting an assault in Karnataka, was released on bail, but the charges against him remained. Three journalists were killed in direct relation to their work, while at least three other journalist killings this year remain unsolved.

February 12, 2014 1:35 AM ET

Blog   |   India, Internet

On Internet freedom, India's perilous trajectory

By the time the first story based on former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures splashed across the front pages of the world's newspapers, India had reportedly begun deployment of its own major surveillance architecture, the Central Management System (CMS). The system is a $132 million project that allows central access to all communications content and metadata carried over Indian telecommunications networks. According to documents reviewed by The Hindu:

Blog   |   India

India's independent journalism in doubt in election year

Voters queue at a polling station during the state assembly election in New Delhi on December 4, 2013. A major election is due in May. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

With the dawn of the new year, India is looking ahead to a national election in May. Recent developments raise questions about the quality and quantity of independent news coverage of the polls as local media come under greater political influence.

« 2013