Somalia, Iraq, Syria Top CPJ 'Impunity' List

Journalists there are in most danger of murder without repercussion

Somalia, Iraq and Syria—in that order—are the top three global hotspots where journalists are murdered without repercussion, according to the latest annual Global Impunity Index released by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

CPJ says that is attributable to Islamist militant groups like ISIS and al-Shabaab. Also high on the list of such countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Retaliation killings by local officials and criminals also put Brazil, Mexico, Philippines and Russia on the list.

Related: Newseum Joins Effort to Free Journalist Austin Tice

On the upside, the end of Sri Lanka's civil war means that country has dropped off the list for the first time since 2008, and there have been more prosecutions (six in this year's index compared to three in last year's).

"Impunity in the murders of journalists emboldens would-be killers and forces the media to operate in a climate of fear, which in turn restricts information available to the public,” said Elisabeth Witchel, consultant for the Global Campaign Against Impunity and author of the report.

The report was released in advance of Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (Nov. 2). It calculates "the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country's population."