ISLAMABAD: Six journalists were killed — three of
ISLAMABAD: Six journalists were killed — three of them while performing their duties — and another 73 injured, mostly by police, in the “worst year for journalists in a decade as the media remained under pressure due to government’s laws and threats”, the Pakistan
Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) said in a report released on Sunday.
“Unprecedented incidents of violence and curbs on the media remained the hallmark of 2007,” the report said. Besides the killing of journalists, it added, media houses were attacked and raided by police and security agencies. “Freedom of the press came under attack as a result of the promulgation of two ordinances against the media after the imposition of emergency rule in the country on November 3,” the report said.
It said the journalists killed included Zubair Ahmed Mujahid (daily Jang), who was killed in Mirpurkhas by unidentified people, Mehboob Khan (a freelance journalist), killed in Charsada in a bomb blast on a rally of former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Noor Ahmed Khan, killed in Bajaur during a roadside blast, Javed Khan (a photojournalist for daily Markaz), who was killed while covering a military operation against Lal Masjid in Islamabad in July, Muhammad Arif Khan (a cameraman for ARYONE WORLD) who died in a bomb blast at the homecoming rally of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on October 18 and Rab Nawaz Chandio (a reporter for daily Halchal), killed by unidentified people in Thatta.
The PFUJ said the year witnessed the “growing menace of police brutality against journalists. The latest was on December 17 when Aaj TV reporter Muhammad Usman was admitted to hospital after several head injuries.”
“Throughout the year, private TV channels such as Geo, ARY, Aaj, Sindh, KTN and Khyber TV were put off air now and again. On November 3, authorities put off some 45 TV channels and two FM-radio channels for over three weeks,” the PFUJ report said.
Campaign suspended: The PFUJ had launched a protest movement against the curbs on the media, which has now been suspended after 55 days following the tragic death of Benazir Bhutto.
Source: Daily Times