The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) called on the Shahbaz government to ensure and protect the rights of journalists and media employees on World Press Freedom Day (May 3rd).

PFUJ president Shahzada Zulfiqar and secretary-general Nasir Zaidi emphasized the importance of press freedom, free speech, and expression in a joint statement released on Monday. “Freedom of the press is the hallmark of any developed and healthy society and it cannot be compromised” as reported by Dawn.

According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Pakistan is the fifth most dangerous country for journalists to practice their profession.

From they year 1990 to 2020, 138 journalists died in the line of duty in the country, according to media reports.

The PFUJ expressed its concern regarding the freedom of media in Pakistan by saying “in at least nine cases, journalists were intimidated or silenced altogether, whether in the form of assault, enforced disappearances, murder or overt censorship.”

According to Dawn, the PFUJ described the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government’s period as “terrible for the media.”

Those who refused to bow to the government’s demands were reprimanded and harmed financially, which damaged both media individuals and corporations, forcing the industry into financial turmoil.

The administration should immediately create a environment supportive of press freedom by engaging in a dialogue with stakeholders to formulate a framework to safeguard press freedom in the country, according to the statement. Journalists suffer a variety of dangers, including physical assaults, kidnappings, enforced disappearances, imprisonment, and torture, in addition to lethal attacks. Pakistan is one of the top 10 countries where the violators of the freedom of the media and journalists not punished.

Author

  • Saqalain Eqbal is an Online Editor for Khaama Press. He is a Law graduate from The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).