Every day at CPJ, we count numbers:
18 journalists killed in Russia since 2000, 32 journalists and media workers slaughtered
in the Maguindanao massacre, 88
journalists murdered over the last 10 years in Iraq. But on Tuesday night at
CPJ’s Impunity Summit at
More on the Summit
• CPJ Blog: A symbol
• CPJ's 2010
Members of a panel called “Fighting Back: Bringing the Killers of Journalists to Justice,” talked about the frustrating conditions in their home countries that allow for such high rates of impunity in their colleagues’ murders. The two-day summit, which continues today, brings together international journalists and advocates to find ways to combat impunity.
With Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll moderating Tuesday night, panel members pointed fingers at their governments, their courts, and at media organizations for not having the courage to pursue investigations for fear of meeting the same fates as their murdered colleagues.
Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor of the independent Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta, has lost five of his colleagues in targeted killings. “Do we know the last names of the masterminds of the killings? Yes, we do,” Sokolov said, clearly aware of the absurd uselessness of this information in Russia. Authorities, he said, have denied his paper’s requests to launch criminal cases “seven or eight times.”
Russia is one of several countries in which governments fail
to carry out thorough investigations, actively obstruct inquiries, or refuse to
release investigative results. “In the
CPJ board member María Teresa Ronderos said that in her
In Pakistan, “a large number of journalists are being killed as a result of the security environment,” said panelist Owais Aslam Ali, secretary-general of the Pakistan Press Foundation. Just this week, Ali stressed, two cameramen lost their lives in suicide bombings. “The regularity, the numbers, are horrifying,” he said.
There has been little justice in the cases of murdered
Lee Bollinger, president of
After the panel ended, I approached Sokolov to ask him a
pretty blunt question. I wanted to know whether he thought the summit would
have any real-world implications for impunity in