How CSOs can fight impunity for journalist murders

The People's Tribunal Close Hearing

On the International Day to End Impunity for Murders of Journalists 2023, Free Press Unlimited publishes a new report, detailing strategies Civil Society Organisations (CSO's) can use to tackle the issue of impunity through investigation-based advocacy strategies.


Our latest research discusses a method developed and used by Free Press Unlimited's team 'A Safer World for the Truth' to combat impunity: investigation-based advocacy.

In the past years, the team regularly received questions with regards to addressing impunity through CSO-led investigations. How can you achieve change in a terrain dominated by state actors and legal complexities, namely the prosecution of organized crimes? Their experiences in this project have shown that beyond the letter of the law - according to which CSOs play no role in the prosecution of such crimes - there are strong windows of opportunities to contribute to justice. This report shines light on these opportunities, discusses the challenges they encountered, and shares examples from other CSOs and movements working towards justice as well.

Purpose of the report

Our aim is to provide CSOs and other non-state actors with additional tools they can use to in their important and ongoing struggle to get justice for murdered journalists. Rather than being exhaustive, this report looks at how and when these tools can best be used towards which actors, and provides an assessment of their costs and benefits.

As many organisations, activists and relatives all over the world have experienced, getting justice for journalist murders resembles fighting a multi-headed beast. Long judicial processes, complex structural problems, and powerful adversaries turn the path to justice into a long road with many obstacles and challenges. But, above all, it is a fight worth fighting. This report has shared some of the tools we have learned from, and developed together with our partners, in hopes that they may inspire others who seek to find answers in a (cold) case of a journalist murder, and want to leverage states into action.


This report was written by the ‘A Safer World for the Truth’- project team at Free Press Unlimited.

A Safer World For The Truth

A Safer World for the Truth works towards the pursuit of justice for crimes committed against journalists. The project consists of a series of investigations into cases where a journalist was murdered for doing his/her job. These investigations reveal new facts and information around the killings, paving the way for pursuing justice.

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