Pakistan urged to protect journalists from violence News
Pakistan urged to protect journalists from violence

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] called on the Pakistani government on Wednesday to address human rights abuses [press release] against media workers in Pakistan. In a report [text, PDF] also released Wednesday, AI documents the brutal treatment of media workers in Pakistan, claiming that many journalists have been threatened, harassed, abducted, tortured and murdered. AI’s Asia-Pacific Director David Griffiths says of the media situation in Pakistan:

Pakistan’s media community is effectively under siege. Journalists, in particular those covering national security issues or human rights, are targeted from all sides in a disturbing pattern of abuses carried out to silence their reporting.

AI alleges that Pakistani authorities rarely investigate threats or attacks against media workers, and even less often are those responsible brought to justice.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [advocacy website] has found that Pakistan is the fifth deadliest nation in the world for journalists [CPJ report], with 60 percent of journalist fatalities being targeted murders (with the rest killed during dangerous assignments). Violence against journalists is a problem around the world, particularly in conflict-stricken areas. Earlier this month, AI declared Egypt’s continued detention of three Al Jazeera journalists [JURIST report] charged with falsifying news and involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood “vindictive.” In March, a group of UN independent experts asked Venezuela’s government to provide a clear answer to allegations of arbitrary detention and excessive force [JURIST report] against journalists, media workers and demonstrators during the country’s recent protests. CPJ published a report in December finding Syria the most dangerous nation in the world for journalists [JURIST report], with Egypt and Iraq just behind.