CPNE decries violence against media men
KARACHI, July 02 2006: The Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) has strongly condemned what it called the rising wave of murder and violence against journalists and deplorable attempts at denying pressmen the right to obtain information and report all events and developments in correct perspective. Meeting under the chairmanship of CPNE President Mr Arif Nizami, member editors declared their total commitment to the defence of press freedom and the right to information.
The meeting reviewed the situation arising out of the murder of journalists and violence against pressmen and threats posed by various elements to pressurise the print media in the performance of its duty. According to a press release, the meeting deliberated at length over the situation in respect of press freedom and access of information. It noted with great concern the various incidents of violence against pressmen and deplored every incident, calling for proper compensation to families of the pressmen killed and those who had suffered injuries.
The meeting in an unanimous resolution voiced grave concern over the manner in which pressmen have been obstructed in reporting on events in the tribal area of the NWFP and in Balochistan and Sindh. The meeting declared that the killing of Hayatullah Khan and cameraman Munir Sanji were acts of ‘target killing’ and the persons responsible for these murders “must be arrested and given exemplary punishment”.
The resolution also cond-emned the detention of pressmen for interviewing a cleric and threats given to newsmen and newspapers by politico-religious elements, who wish to pressurise newsmen on reporting of events factually and objectively. The resolution declared that access to information “is the right of every newsman and any attempt to deny this access will fail” as demonstrated by past events.
Viewing the incidents as an indication of the designs against press freedom by certain sections, the resolution declared firm adherence to the right of press freedom and commitment of all CPNE member editors to resist all such attempts through collective action. The standing committee of the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors will meet in the second week of July in Peshawar and chalk out a comprehensive programme for defending press freedom and pressmen as well as newspapers from all forms of threats and pressures.