Vol. 5 Num 558 Wed. December 21, 2005  

Killers yet to be brought to justice
A deadweight on journalistic freedom
AS many as 14 journalists have been killed during the tenure of the present government. No culprits have yet been arrested. We believe that this is mainly due to the prosecution process being faulty. It appears that there is no urgency on the part of the government in resolving these cases anytime soon. On the contrary, families of slain journalists are being threatened with their lives by individuals having links with the murderers and are pressing for withdrawal of the cases.

Clearly the murders were born out of a vendetta against the victims orchestrated by vested known individuals and hence arrests of the culprits should be comparatively easier unless the process of investigation is opaque or interfered with. This is reflective of the government's overall lack of sincerity in resolving these cases.

The media is one of the most important organs for both society and any administration for a healthy growth of democratic environment. While every effort should be made for its smooth and unhindered functioning we find that many senior members of the authority are continually engaged in a bashing campaign against journalists and the media as a whole. This is having a negative impact not only on the overall state of information dissemination but is also sending wrong signals to the people at large and clearly having a negative impact on the spirit of free and fair enquiry.

The government, therefore, ought to take all steps necessary to resolve these murder cases not only for the sake of justice but also for a sustained healthy growth of journalism. It is also important for the present administration to realise that alongside people's interest keeping the environment free from intimidation and coercion is to its interest whether in or out of office.

We in the media are ready to help and assist the process of the investigation in all possible ways, if need be. We once again urge the government to complete the processes of investigation and bring the culprits of these heinous crimes to book without further delay.