President urged to respect journalists’ rights
NEW YORK, Dec 10: The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on President Pervez Musharraf to “respect the rights of journalists to safely and freely report the news without fear of harassment or reprisal from government officials.”
Expressing deep concern over the recent reported attacks against Amir Mir of The Herald, in a letter faxed to President Musharraf and Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali, the CPJ noted that there appears to be a “campaign of intimidation” against Mr Mir.
In June Mir was forced to resign as editor of the Weekly Independent, a Lahore based English language newspaper, under pressure from local government officials who accused the paper of running articles that were “against the national interest” and of having an “anti-army policy.”
“On November 21, local Pakistani newspapers reported that Your Excellency allegedly made critical comments about the Herald in a meeting with a group of newspaper editors on November 20. According to local news reports, you accused the magazine of “damaging our national interest,” CPJ said in the letter.
On Nov 22, three unidentified assailants set on fire Mir’s car, which was parked in front of his house in Lahore. Mir said he received a phone call on Nov 23 from a member of the ISI, telling him that this was “just the beginning,” the CPJ noted.