Protest against killing, torture of journalists
ISLAMABAD: The journalist community of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Monday staged protest in front of the Parliament House against killing of three journalists and torture on senior journalist Umar Cheema following his abduction.
The protest rally was organised by Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) in which journalists expressed their deep concern and anger over the rising incidents of torture and killing of professional journalists across the country.
Participants of the rally were of the view that no one could stop them from pursuing their professional duties and they would continue to work with dedication and determination to uphold the norms and traditions of journalism.
It is pertinent to mention here that three journalists including Misri Khan, Ejaz Raisani and Najibullah were killed and senior news reporter Umar Cheema was kidnapped and tortured in the recent incidents of violence against journalists.
Strongly condemning the abduction and torture of senior journalist Umar Cheema, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) president Pervez Shaukat said these incidents are aimed at intimidating and subjugating the free media but all such efforts would surely hit snags.
He said the deplorable acts against the journalists is a part of the growing trend of violence against the dissenting press and it is in the interest of the civil society to check this trend with combined efforts.
Prominent anchorperson Hamid Mir said the government should thoroughly probe into the incidents of killing and torture of journalists and bring the culprits in the court of law.
“Free and independent media always promotes national interest so all segments of the society should extend their support to journalists who work with commitment and devotion,” he said.
Afzal Butt, president of Islamabad Press Club, said the stability and strength of the democratic dispensation requires that a critical investigative report is not only tolerated but encouraged by the concerned authorities.
“These kinds of incidents suggest that the society is becoming increasingly anarchic where the law and order and tolerance do not prevail. It is the professional duty of the journalists to write investigative stories and act as a watchdog to the interest of the people of the country,” he said.
RIUJ secretary general Jameel Mirza said killing and torturing of journalists is an assault on the freedom of expression and freedom of speech and an attempt to silence the few courageous voices in the print and electronic media.
Parliamentarians including Senators Parvaiz Rashid, Afrasiyab Khattak, Zahid Khan and MNAs Haider Abbas Rizvi, Iqbal Muhammad Ali and Nosheen Saeed also addressed journalists gathering and expressed their solidarity with them. The parliamentarians said it was responsibility of the government to provide protection to the journalists and ensure freedom of press in the country.
Source: The News