The Committee to Protect Journalists have today published their annual list of states where the murders of journalists are likely to go unpunished.
Here’s the top 10 as of 2014:
4. Sri Lanka
The worst, then, is Iraq – a country the UK recently spent over six years occupying. The 6th worst is Afghanistan – a country the UK has been occupying for well over ten years.
You might think that a British newspaper would be interested in focusing on these countries, perhaps in the context of asking just what kind of ‘nations’ British armed forces have helped ‘build’ there over the past decade.
These figures don’t exactly chime with the pro-war narrative of Iraq and Afghanistan being transformed into flourishing, peaceful democracies, after all.
But no. Here’s the first two paragraphs from the commentary accompanying The Guardian’s datablog about the report (emphasis mine):
‘Syria has joined a list – compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists – of countries where journalists’ murders are most likely to go unpunished.
The 2014 Impunity Index, published today by the committee, shows that Syria – which topped the world’s most dangerous country for journalists index – has been ranked the fifth worst country for where journalists’ murders are most likely to go unpunished. The CPJ say that Syria’s appearance on the list “highlights the rising number of targeted killings”.
And here is their concluding sentence:
‘Syria, which was named by the CPJ as the world’s most dangerous country for journalists, has joined the list for the first time this year’.
So the focus is instead clearly on 5th placed Syria (no other country gets as many mentions), with Iraq being mentioned only once, and Afghanistan not at all.
The fact that Syria is the Official Bad Guy of the moment, and a current target for British subversion and regime change, is entirely co-incidental to that.