PFUJ demands effective, strict steps to end culture of impunity
KARACHI: Pakistan is known as one of the most dangerous place for journalists and the culture of impunity is posing a major threat to them, which needs to be addressed at the earliest.
This was stated by President Rana Azeem and Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Amin Yousuf in a statement issued here on Friday in connection with the International Day to End Impunity to be marked on November 23rd.
The day is marked in the memory of Ampatuan massacre in which 32 media workers were killed in a single attack.
Rana Azeem and Amin Yousuf said that impunity is a chronic failure by states, judiciary and law-enforcement agencies to bring perpetrators to justice, which encourages more killing when perpetrators are neither arrested nor prosecuted. Situation in Pakistan is worst as the journalists are working in dangerous situations, putting their lives at risk, they said.
They said that the journalists in Pakistan are not only targeted by militants, criminals and warlords, but also by political, religious groups, and law-enforcement agencies. A huge number of journalists were murdered, injured or threatened due to their work, but not a single perpetrator has been convicted yet, they added.
Rana Azeem and Amin Yousuf said that crime against journalists continues in Pakistan, and violence has become such an open secret that no journalist can say ‘I never thought about it.’ Due to increasing violence and threats, most of the journalists try to keep themselves safe by distancing from the assignments that could cause them trouble, they said.
Many journalists have also given up their careers in the face of violence and threats, or they have started self-censorship, they stated. PFUJ President and Secretary General said that the lack of adequate facilities including life insurances, proper wages, and safety equipments such as bullet-proof jackets etc are also adding to the miseries of the journalists.
They demanded of the President and Prime Minister to take prompt, effective and strict measures to ensure freedom of Press, safety and security of journalists and combating impunity in Pakistan.
They also urged the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate attacks against journalists in Pakistan.