19 Novembro 2007
CPJ launches Global Campaign Against Impunity: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provides support
The Committee to Protect Journalists today announced a Global Campaign Against Impunity that will devote reporting, political, and legal resources to bring the killers of journalists to justice.
New York, November 19, 2007The Committee to Protect Journalists today announced a Global Campaign Against Impunity that will devote reporting, political, and legal resources to bring the killers of journalists to justice. The campaign, supported by a $500,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will initially focus on Russia and the Philippines, two countries where journalists are routinely murdered and the perpetrators rarely brought to justice. Impunity is one of the greatest threats not only to journalism but to the free circulation of ideas and information, said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. We owe it to our colleagues to do everything we can to achieve justice, and we believe that progress in these terrible cases is attainable. During the last 15 years, at least 661 journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work. Although many have been killed in combat or on other dangerous assignment, about 73 percent, or 482, were targeted for reprisal and murdered, according to CPJ research
Russia and the Philippines are among the deadliest countries in the world for the press. With 47 journalists killed for their work since 1992, Russia is the third deadliest nation for the press, according to CPJ research. The Philippines ranks fifth with 32 killed.
After working extensively on the issue with local journalist groups, CPJ has found some recent success in the prosecution of journalist murderers. In a breakthrough verdict in Russia, five people were convicted in August in the 2000 murder of reporter Igor Domnikov. In the Philippines, gunmen were recently convicted in the murders of two journalists, including the 2005 slaying of investigative reporter Marlene Garcia-Esperat . Despite those successes, Russia and the Philippines are among the worst in solving journalist murders, obtaining convictions in only about one in 10 cases.
An attack on a journalist is an attack on civil society, said Eric Newton, the Knight Foundations vice president of journalism programs. No society that believes in justice should let such attacks go unpunished.
The Global Campaign Against Impunity, which is modeled on successful Inter American Press Association efforts in Latin America, will rely on a multi-pronged approach: documentation, public awareness, and legal and political pressure. Impunity rates have declined in Latin America in the last decade, but they hover above 85 percent in the rest of the world.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950 the foundation has granted more than $300 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression. The Knight Foundation focuses on ideas and projects that create transformational change.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1981. CPJ promotes press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.
Source: CPJ, www.cpj.org