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DYING TO TELL THEIR STORIES: The International Day to End Impunity
November 22, 2011
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Five years ago today, Raad Jaafar Hamadi's car was attacked and he was murdered by four gunmen while he was driving in the east Baghdad neighbourhood of Al-Washah. Hamadi was a journalist with the daily newspaper "Al Sabah", and worked for the state-owned Iraqi Media Network.

Two years ago tomorrow, 32 local journalists were killed in what has become known as the Maguindanao Massacre, an action some have called the single deadliest attack on members of the media in history. The reporters were on their way to cover a candidacy announcement challenging an established governor; their convoy was attacked and a total of 58 people were murdered.

These are just two of the stories to be commemorated tomorrow as part of the International Day to End Impunity, an event that recognizes the sacrifice made by those who lost their lives while trying to pursue the freedom of expression. The date was inspired by the Maguindanao Massacre, and Hamadi's death is just one of the stories making up a calendar from this November in which each date counting down to Nov. 23 commemorates an unsolved murder involving a journalist.

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a self-identified global network of organizations working to defend and promote the right to freedom of expression, recently hosted a contest to design a poster marking the day, and posted the following video explaining the background of the event.

According to IFEX, more than 500 journalists have been killed in the last 10 years, and in nine out of the 10 cases, the murderers have gone free. Two of the leading countries when it comes to the murder of reporters as a percentage of population are Mexico and Russia, as identified by the Committee to Protect Journalists in its 2011 report: While Russia has kept its ranking stable over the past year, Mexico's problems are growing much worse as a result of that country's drug wars.


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