Unsurprsingly, the high incidence of violence against journalists, including murders that frequently go unsolved, has not only created an atmosphere of official impunity but led to self-censorship by journalists. Russia is near the top of the list of risky countries in the Annual ‘Impunity Index’ of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), taking 9th place behind Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Afghanistan, Nepal and Mexico. In nine out of ten cases
those responsible were not brought to justice, which makes killing a journalist a cheap, easy and practically risk-free method of silencing someone. In the last ten years our country has been unable to carry out effective investigations to bring to justice the perpetrators of more than 150 murders of journalists and other media workers. This demonstrates the failure of the system at every level: politics, law enforcement and the judiciary.

Media freedom in the Russian regions? You must be joking… – Part of Russia At The Crossroads, a week-long special on openDemocracy, guest-curated by Human Rights Watch.

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