According to the CPJ's 2011 index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country's population, the "scourge of impunity" has worsened in Iraq, with a spike in the killing of journalists in 2010 despite a recorded drop in crossfire and other conflict-related deaths.
The country's index rating shows 2.921 unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants, up from 2.794 last year.
Many of the other countries at the top of the index, which includes Somalia and the Philippines, also showed either no improvement or worsening records, according to today's report.
"The findings of the 2011 Impunity Index lay bare the stark choices that governments face: Either address the issue of violence against journalists head-on or see murders continue and self-censorship spread," CPJ executive director Joel Simon said.
The index did find improvements in some countries, with two high-profile convictions in Russia, for example, he added, and no recorded killings of journalists in reprisal for their work in 2010.
But despite this Russia remains in the index at number nine, just one rank lower than the previous year.
Today's published index is a result of an examination of journalist murders between January 2001 through to the end of December 2010 that remain unsolved, with only the 13 countries with five or more unsolved cases then included on the index.
According to the CPJ's methodology cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained.
The report also found impunity to be severe across South Asia with six of the region's nations, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India, appearing on this year's index.
This comes as the body of Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad was found yesterday, two days after he had gone missing.
In a report by the BBC two Pakistani journalists pay tribute to Shahzad, who is described as having had "an unparalleled obsession to run down the 'monsters'".
CPJ Impunity Index in list form below with rating:
- Iraq – 2.921
- Somalia – 1.099
- Philippines – 0.609
- Sri Lanka – 0.443
- Colombia – 0.241
- Afghanistan – 0.235
- Nepal – 0.205
- Mexico – 0.121
- Russia – 0.113
- Pakistan – 0.082
- Bangladesh – 0.031
- Brazil – 0.026
- India – 0.006
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