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PFUJ vows to keep fighting for press freedom and journalists' rights

 JournalismPakistan.com
 May 02, 2021

PFUJ vows to keep fighting for press freedom and journalists' rights

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has pledged to continue its struggle for freedoms of press, expression, and speech and protect journalists and workers’ rights.

On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, President PFUJ Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi called for greater unity among all groups fighting for their rights. “Freedom of the press and free speech and expression is the hallmark of PFUJ, and it will not surrender this cause at any cost,” the leaders said.

They reiterated their commitment to resolving issues faced by the media industry due to ill-conceived policies of the government.

PFUJ said that nearly 15000 journalists and media workers had lost their jobs in Pakistan. There have been 148 cases of attacks and violations against media and its practitioners, including journalists, between May 2020 and April 2021. The situation has worsened in a country of 22 million people who have been denied the right of speech and expression and the right to access information. “It is a failure of the state and the government as the environment for freedom of speech and free press is not conducive due to denial of such rights guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan. Even Islamabad has become a dangerous place for journalists,” PFUJ said.

The state of media and Pakistan’s decline on the world press freedom index has brought the country under severe criticism and scrutiny by international organizations.

“We want urgent and serious dialogue with the government institutions and all the industry stakeholders to restore the media industry and find a mechanism for resolving all our troubles.”

The PFUJ has already submitted a 19-point charter of demands with the federal government. However, the government has not discussed these demands.  

Apart from concocted and fabricated 27 legal cases against journalists’ abduction and attempts to kill media professionals, censorship and advisories to media have become widespread. It has brought the industry under serious threat. It faces a severe financial crisis that has directly impacted journalists and media workers.

“The state of Pakistan should immediately ensure freedom of the press, free speech, and expression and respect voices of dissent.”

 

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