International Day to End Impunity for Violence against Journalists report 2012 | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

International Day to End Impunity for Violence against Journalists report 2012

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Report on Murder of Pakistani Journalists

From January 2002 to November 2012

Released on November 23: International Day to End Impunity for Violence against Journalists

 At least 48 journalists have been killed in the line of duty in Pakistan in last ten years and 35 of them were deliberately targeted and murdered because of their work.  In 2012 alone, six journalists were killed in the country.  For every journalist who has been deliberately targeted and murdered, there are many others who have been injured, threatened and coerced into silence.

Pakistani journalists are killed, unjustly detained, abducted, beaten and threatened by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, militants, tribal and feudal lords, as well as, some political parties that claim to promote democracy and the rule of law.  Sadly, the perpetrators of violence against journalists and media workers enjoy almost absolute impunity in Pakistan.

Of the 48 journalists killed in the line of duty during these 11 years, 14 were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, twelve from Balochistan, nine from Sindh, eight from Federally Administrated Tribal Agencies (FATA), three from Punjab and two from the federal capital, Islamabad.

Of the 35 journalists murdered since the year 2002 because of their work, 11 were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ten from Balochistan, four from FATA, seven from Sindh, two from Punjab and one from Islamabad. Of 48 journalists killed, twenty-five were shot; three targeted in suicide attacks, seven killed in suicide bomb blasts, nine abducted before murder, while four killed in crossfire.

While formal criminal complaints (First Information Reports) were lodged, the murders of media workers were not seriously investigated or prosecuted.  Over the last ten years, the murder of Daniel Pearl, reporter for the US-based Wall Street Journal, was the lone case of murder of journalist in Pakistan where suspects were prosecuted and convicted.  This is why Pakistan is among the list of shame prepared by the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists of those countries that do not investigate and prosecute murders of journalists.

Because of the Afghanistan war and the so called war on terror, areas bordering Afghanistan – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and FATA – are the most dangerous areas for journalists.

Journalists in FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan work under extremely stressful conditions with pressure being wielded by security agencies, militant groups, district administration and tribal leaders. In many instances security agencies or militant organisations require journalists to get ‘clearance’ from them before releasing their new reports.  Journalists from Balochistan, in particular, face violence and threats from security and intelligence agencies, as well as, ethnic, sectarian and separatist groups.

Pakistani journalists are often caught between competing power centers.  For example recently the Balochistan High Court directed journalists not to report news of banned organizations; while these banned organizations exert pressure on local media to give them ‘proper’ coverage.

The alarming increase in violence and threats has forced many journalists to migrate from these danger zones.  According to some estimates, one-third of FATA journalists has already moved to other areas or gave up the profession.

Pressure and intimidation has forced the journalists to adopt a self-censorship, particularly in the conflict areas.  Because of this self-censorship, the reports emanating from the conflict areas about military action by Pakistani law enforcement agencies, drone attacks by the US forces or attacks by militants are based on press releases and not on observations by independent journalists.  Thus, not only human dimensions or horrors of the war being fought in Pakistan are absent from media, but reports that are published or broadcast also lack credibility.  This has hindered the development of consensus on the path Pakistan should take to steer the country out of the crisis facing it for last three decades.

 Free media is essential to democracy in Pakistan as it promotes transparency and accountability, a prerequisite of sustained economic uplift. The impunity enjoyed by those who attack journalists is seriously hampering press freedom in Pakistan and all stakeholders, including media organisations, the government and civil society should join hands to devise some mechanisms for ensuring safety of working journalists.

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) recommends the following steps to control the alarming rise in violence against media, and to end impunity for those who attack journalists and media workers:

  Criminal cases should be registered, investigated and prosecuted against the perpetrators of violence against media.

An independent commission comprising professional media organisations, CSOs, press freedom and human rights organisations and professional bodies of lawyers should be established for monitoring criminal investigations and legal follow-up of cases of violence and intimidation of journalists.

Local, national and international print, electronic and online media should ensure long-term follow up of cases of assault on media organisations and workers

Journalists should be provided with safety and first aid trainings and guidance on how to report in hostile environment. Journalists working in conflict areas should also be provided with guidance in recognizing and dealing with stress and post-traumatic stress.

Safety equipments including bulletproof jackets and medical kits should be given to journalists covering the conflicts.

Threats and attacks can be reduced to some extent by adopting a professional approach and impartial and unbiased reporting.  Journalists, especially those in rural areas, should be imparted trainings on writing skills, language proficiency, editing and interviewing techniques to enhance their capabilities.

Employers should provide journalists life and medical insurance and also compensation in case of death or injury related to their work. As Pakistani journalists are victims of circumstances that are both local and global in nature, the government should also compensate to the families of journalists, killed in the line of duty.

Proper medical treatment, including treatment abroad, should be provided to media workers who have been subjected to violence.

In addition to compensation by employers and government, funds should be set up for families of journalists who had been murdered or injured.  These funds could be operated by the immediate families of the victimized journalists.

There is need to for media organisations to develop ‘operating procedures’ with law enforcement agencies that will allow journalists to cover the conflict situations with greater safety.

Arrangements should be made in all major cities to provide refuge and safe houses for the journalists who are forced to leave their homes so that they can live and work in safer cities.

Media organisations should interact with all stakeholders including government departments, political parties and groups and security agencies to develop strategies that promote safety of journalists and other media workers.

Employers should give journalists facing threats the option of transferring them to safer cities for extended periods of time.  The remunerations during these periods should be based on the actual living expenses in these cities, which are generally higher than rural areas.

At times, insensitive and misinformed editors push their reporters and photojournalists into the situations where they have to put their life and well-being at risk for getting the stories. There is a need to create awareness and sensitizing the owners of the media organizations, as well as, those who are working on desk to realize the ground realities and threats being faced by the journalists working in fields especially in conflict areas.

Some international media organisations do provide proper safety trainings and equipment to their correspondents; however, journalists working for international media organisations as stringers or on freelance basis in remote areas of FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan do not receive adequate training or support.  As reporting for international media carries greater risk for these stringers, these organisations should provide security training and support, as well as, life and medical insurance for their stringers and freelancers working in conflict area.

 

List of Journalists Killed in Pakistan from January 2002 to November 2012

S.No

Date of Attack

Name of Journalist

Organisation

City/District

Province/Region

Category

1

18-Nov-12

Rehmatullah Abid

“Dunya TV”

Panjgur

Balochistan

Murder

2

7-Oct-12

Mushtaq Khand

Dharti TV

Khairpur district

Sindh

Murder

3

29-Sep-12

Abdul Haq Baloch

ARY News

Khuzdar

Balochistan

Murder

4

27-May-12

Abdul Qadir Hajizai,

WASH TV

Washik

Balochistan

Murder

5

19-May-12

Razzaq Gul

Express News

Turbat

Balochistan

Abduction and Murder

6

17-Jan-12

Mukarram Khan Atif

“Deewa Radio”, “Dunya News”

Charsadda

Khyber-Pakhtunkhuwa

Murder

7

5-Nov-11

Javed Naseer Rind

Daily Tawar

Khuzdar

Balochistan

Abduction and Murder

8

11-Jun-11

Asfandyar Abid Naveed

Daily Akhbar-e-Khyber

Peshawar

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Suicide Blast

9

11-Jun-11

Shafiullah Khan

Daily The News

Peshawar

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Suicide Blast

10

30-May-11

Saleem Shahzad

Asia Times Online

Islamabad

Federal Capital Area

Abduction and Murder

11

10-May-11

Nasrullah Khan Afridi

Daily Mashriq, Daily Statesman

Peshawar

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Murder

12

13-Jan-11

Wali Khan Babar

Geo TV

Karachi

Sindh

Murder

13

14-Dec-10

Mohammad Khan Sasoli

Daily Balochistan Times

Khuzdar

Balochistan

Murder

14

6-Dec-10

Pervez Khan

Waqt TV

Ghalanai

FATA

Suicide Blast

15

6-Dec-10

Abdul Wahab

Daily Express News

Ghalanai

FATA

Suicide Blast

16

18-Nov-10

Lala Hameed Hayatan

Daily Tawar

Gawadar

Balochistan

Abduction and Murder

17

17-Sep-10

Mujeebur Rehman Siddiqui

Daily Pakistan

Dargai

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Murder

18

14-Sep-10

Misri Khan

Daily Ausaf, Daily Mashriq

Hangu

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Murder

19

6-Sep-10

Ejaz Raisani

Samaa TV

Quetta

Balochistan

Crossfire

20

27-Jun-10

Faiz Muhammad Sasoli

Daily Aaj Kal

Khuzdar

Balochistan

Murder

21

28-May-10

Ijazul Haq

City-42 TV

Lahore

Punjab

Crossfire

22

10-May-10

Ghulam Rasool Birhamani

Daily Sindhu

Wahi Pandhi

Sindh

Abduction and Murder

23

17-Apr-10

Azamat Ali Bangash

Samaa TV

Kohat

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Suicide Blast

24

16-Apr-10

Malik Arif

Samaa TV

Quetta

Balochistan

Suicide Blast

25

24-Aug-09

Janullah Hashimzada

Shamshad TV

Jamrud

FATA

Murder

26

18-Feb-09

Musa Khankhel

Geo TV, The News

Swat

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Murder

27

23-Jan-09

Amir Wakeel

Daily Awami Inqalab

Rawalpindi

Punjab

Murder

28

4-Jan-09

Tahir Saleem Awan

freelance

Dera Ismail Khan

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Targeted in  suicide Blast

29

4-Jan-09

Mohammad Imran

Express TV

Dera Ismail Khan

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Targeted in  suicide blast

30

3-Nov-08

Abdul Razzak Johra

Royal TV

Mianwali

Punjab

Murder

31

29-Aug-08

Abdul Aziz Shaheen

Daily Azadi

Swat

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Abduction and Murder

32

22-May-08

Mohammed Ibrahim

Express TV and Daily Express

Khar

FATA

Murder

33

14-Apr-08

Khadim Hussain Sheikh

Sindh TV, Daily Khabrain

Hub

Balochistan

Murder

34

29-Feb-08

Siraj Uddin

The Nation

Mingora

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Targeted in a Suicide Blast

35

9-Feb-08

Chishti Mujahid

Weekly Akbar-e-Jehan

Quetta

Balochistan

Murder

36

23-Nov-07

Zubair Ahmed Mujahid

Daily Jang

Mirpurkhas

Sindh

Murder

37

19-Oct-07

Muhammad Arif

ARY One World TV

Karachi

Sindh

Suicide Blast

38

3-Jul-07

Javed Khan

Daily Markaz

Islamabad

Federal Capital Area

Crossfire

39

2-Jun-07

Noor Hakim Khan

Daily Pakistan

Bajaur

FATA

Crossfire

40

28-Apr-07

Mehboob Khan

freelance

Charsadda

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Crossfire

41

16-Jun-06

Hayatullah Khan

freelance

Miran Shah

FATA

Abduction and Murder

42

29-May-06

Munir Ahmed Sangi

Kawish Television Network (KTN)

Larkana

Sindh

Crossfire

43

7-Feb-05

Allah Noor

Khyber TV

Wana

FATA

Murder

44

7-Feb-05

Amir Nawab

Associated Press Television News, Daily The Frontier Post

Wana

FATA

Murder

45

29-Jan-04

Sajid Tanoli

Daily Shumal

Mansehra

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

Murder

46

3-Oct-03

Ameer Bux Brohi

Daily Kawish

Kandhkot

Sindh

Murder

47

20-Oct-02

Shahid Soomro

Daily Kawish

Kandhkot

Sindh

Murder

48

2002

Daniel Pearl

The Wall Street Journal

Karachi

Sindh

Abduction and Murder