The latest Freedom Network Annual Press Freedom Report for Pakistan expresses concern about the growing atmosphere of intimidation and harassment affecting freedom of expression and access to the country’s media, a press release released on Thursday said.
The network said that between May 2019 and April 2020, at least 91 cases were recorded in Pakistan, including seven murders of journalists and a blogger, attacks, and other violations against the media and its practitioners.
The report, titled “Assassinations, Harassment, and Attacks: The Hard Pay for Journalists in Pakistan,” was released by the Freedom Network ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
“The screws on the media in Pakistan are being tightened by various means of censorship, including murder, threats and harassment, leading to further silence and erosion of journalistic journalism,” said Iqbal Khattak, executive director of Freedom Network.
Khattak noted that the data collected shows that nowhere in Pakistan is safe. He added that attacks on journalists are ubiquitous.
“In one year, between May 3, 2019, and April 10, 2020, at least 91 cases of attacks and violations against journalists and media were reported in Pakistan in all territories of Pakistan, including four provinces and Islamabad, “The statement said.
This is an average of more than seven rape cases per month, once a fourth day or twice a week, he added.
These violations included the murder of seven journalists, two kidnapping cases, nine arrests, detentions or detentions, 10 cases of physical violence, one case of attacks on a journalist’s home, 23 cases of specific written or oral threats, 10 cases of censorship and eight cases of judicial cases against journalists.
“The top three categories of violations against journalists in Pakistan during the reporting period included 23 cases of oral or written threats of murder or other serious consequences (25%), at least 13 cases of offline and online harassment (14% ), and 11 attempted murder cases (12%), seven of which led to the murder of journalists, “the press release said.
The network notes that Islamabad has become “the most dangerous region in Pakistan for journalists” to participate in its trade. The group said 34% of rapes (31 of 91 cases) were registered in the federal capital.
“Sindh was the second-worst with 27% of rapes (24 cases), followed by Punjab with 22% (20 cases), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 14% (13 cases) and Baluchistan with 3% (3 cases) “, said . Media watchdog.
The group noted that television was the largest victim of the media in at least 63 cases (69%) compared to print, radio, and web journalists.
Interestingly, the group noted that during the year under review, not a single radio journalist was targeted.