November 03, 2020
Published 20 days ago
ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and press freedom organization Freedom Network have jointly called on the federal government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to do legislation on the protection of journalists as Pakistan and the world marked the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November.
“As Pakistan remains among the top 10 countries where predators of attacks on journalists and media go unpunished, we demand urgent legislation to protect journalists and reverse the current situation affecting freedom of expression negatively,” both PFUJ and FN said in a joint statement.
No one was punished through the court of law for crimes against journalists in Pakistan so far, they pointed. “Thus, Pakistan is among few countries where impunity for crimes against journalists is taking deep roots. Independent and professional journalism is not possible in such environment of fear.”
“We cannot afford any further delay in doing legislation,” the two organizations reminded the federal government asking the federal cabinet to quickly approve the draft law on journalists’ protection which Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari prepared after consultation with stakeholders.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2 November as the 'International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists' in General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163. The Resolution urges the UN member states to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity.
In Pakistan, over 130 journalists were killed since 2002 and no killer of murdered journalist was punished encouraging total impunity for murderers.
Besides fatal attacks, journalists face other categories of threats such as physical attacks, kidnappings, enforced disappearances, imprisonment, and torture. Harassment and other harmful acts are increasingly prevalent in the online sphere, and especially target women journalists, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO), spearheading campaign for impunity for crimes against journalists, said to mark the occasion.
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A study conducted by JournalismPakistan.com and Communications Research Strategies on the economic situation of slain journalists' families and journalists displaced due to security threats.