August 12, 2021
BRUSSELS—The European Union has raised concerns over violence, intimidation, abduction, and killing of journalists in Pakistan and said it indicated a "clear, negative trend" in the freedom of media in recent years.
A spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, Nabila Massrali, said: "The backtracking in this area is having a detrimental impact on the overall climate of freedom of expression in Pakistan and reflecting negatively on Pakistan's image abroad."
The EU is also concerned about widespread and systematic harassment online, especially of female journalists, through coordinated campaigns including abusive language and threats of violence, Massrali said.
The spokesperson said EU actively advocates the importance of the freedom of expression and the need for protection of journalists around the world, including in Pakistan and directly with the Pakistani authorities.
"In the fifth EU-Pakistan strategic dialogue with foreign minister Qureshi on 3 November 2020, [High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy] Josep Borrell reiterated concerns over the freedom of expression and media in Pakistan," Massrali said.
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