Legislation for journalists’ safety demanded
LAHORE: Threats of abduction and death to journalists have increased over time which has made them more vulnerable.
This was observed by Freedom Network, an independent media and civil liberties organisation, which has shared that Punjab is the third most dangerous province for journalists and has called for legislation in the province to protect media people. Pakistan Journalists Safety Coalition (PJSC), Punjab meeting, which was facilitated by Pakistani media rights watchdog Freedom Network, expressed concern at the various actions and incidents against media practitioners which are hurting both freedom of expression and public interest journalism. In a consultation held here Wednesday with journalists, representatives of journalist bodies, HRCP and human rights assistant to the Punjab chief minister, Pakistan Journalists Safety Coalition (PJSC), Punjab presented a draft of the demand for Punjab legislation for special safety protection laws for journalists and media workers at Punjab level.
In two years (2021-22), 11 threat alerts against journalists were registered in Punjab alone and 58 journalists have been murdered since 2012 throughout Pakistan with no conviction.
Freedom Network is working on journalists’ safety since 2012. With the efforts Pakistan Journalists Safety Coalition (PJSC), the safety bill will be put up soon in the KP Assembly, law making has been done in Sindh and at Federal level and is in process of operationalisation. The Human Rights Assistant to the Punjab CM agreed that there is no law to check trolling at the government level. She said the government had also collected data of crime against journalists which was the first-ever certified data.