KABUL: Afghanistan is among the countries globally where the killers of journalists most frequently are unpunished and impunity for violence against journalists remains highest, according to the 2020 Global Impunity Index published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The New York-based committee says Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia top the list of countries with the highest levels of immunity from murder of journalists. Afghanistan is followed by Mexico, the Philippines, Brazil and Pakistan.
According to the committee, only 13 cases of unsolved murders of journalists have been registered in Afghanistan in the last ten years.
Meanwhile, Sediqullah Tawhidi, head of the Committee to Protect Journalists in Afghanistan, said that journalists in the country are facing increasing violence. He said on Thursday that four journalists were killed in Afghanistan this year and that more than 60 cases of violence against journalists had been reported.
'Journalists in Afghanistan are being severely threatened with death by armed opposition groups and other groups. Government officials, security officials and local insurgents are each threatening journalists if they don't find reporting to their liking,' he said.
Saber Momand, a spokesman for the Ministry of Information and Culture, said the government had taken steps to address cases of violence against journalists. 'The Afghan government is determined to ensure the safety of journalists, and the cases are being investigated by the judiciary,' Momand added.
The World Index of the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2020 shows a total of 12 countries where the killers of journalists roam freely. According to the CPJ, 80 percent of all cases of unsolved murders of journalists in the world in the last ten years have been registered in these 12 countries.
The committee says that powerful actors such as criminal and political groups, politicians and business leaders in these countries resort to violence to silence critical and investigative journalists. Corruption, weak institutions and a lack of political will to thoroughly investigate murders are all factors in impunity. CPJ says that from September 2010 to the end of August this year, 277 journalists were killed for their work around the world, and that no murder was successfully prosecuted in 83% of these cases.