Journalists in Pakistan call for legislation to protect press freedom
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Freedom Network called on the Imran Khan-led government to initiate legislation for the protection of journalists in the country.
“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,” PFUJ and FN said in a joint statement.
The demand came as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and Media was being observed globally, including Pakistan.
The associations further alleged that no one was punished through the court of law for crimes against journalists in Pakistan so far.
“Thus, Pakistan is among the few countries where impunity for crimes against journalists is taking deep roots. Independent and professional journalism is not possible in such an environment of fears…. We cannot afford any further delay in doing legislation,” the two organizations said.
As per media reports, the two journalist associations further asked the cabinet to quickly approve the draft law on journalists’ protection which Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari had prepared after consultation with stakeholders.
In Pakistan, over 130 journalists were killed since 2002 and not even a single person was punished, encouraging total impunity for murderers, read the statement.
Besides fatal attacks, journalists face other categories of threats such as physical attacks, kidnappings, enforced disappearances, imprisonment, and torture.