Violence against media

SECTION 4: Threats and attacks against media and information practitioners, including online

  • Murders and killings
  • Kidnappings and abductions
  • Arrests and detentions
  • Threats – verbal and written
  • Harassment and intimidation – offline and online
  • Surveillance, hacking and data breaches
  • Legal cases for journalism-related work or free speech
  • Impunity of crimes against journalists
  • Censorship

Murder of a citizen journalist

Date: August 1, 2020 – Source: The Friday Times

The murder of Anwar Khetran is the first instance of a citizen journalist being killed in Balochistan. Over the last 15 years, Balochistan has been an inferno for journalists. According to the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ), 45 journalists have been killed in the last 15 years in the province.

Abductions, Censorship and Layoffs: Pakistani Critics Are Under Siege

Date: August 3, 2020 – Source: The New York Times

Recent abductions of a journalist and an activist have underscored Pakistan’s worsening rights conditions as the country’s security forces pressure the news media and human rights groups.

Killing of Pakistani anti-corruption journalist sparks protests

Date: August 3, 2020 – Source: The Guardian

The murder of a reporter known for exposing corruption has set off a wave of protests across Pakistan’s Balochistan province, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist.

Court moved for release of Daniel Pearl murder suspects

Date: August 6, 2020 – Source: Express Tribune

The Sindh High Court issued notices to law officers on a plea challenging the provincial government’s second notification for extending the confinement of four men acquitted in Daniel Pearl murder case.

BBC confirms foreign journalists barred from covering Indian-occupied Kashmir

Date: August 6, 2020 – Source: The News

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) confirmed foreign journalists are not allowed to cover the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) after the Narendra Modi government revoked Article 370 in violation of UN Resolutions on Kashmir, which gave a special status to the disputed territory.

PFUJ team to probe Matiullah Jan kidnapping incident

Date: August 6, 2020 – Source 1: The News, Source 2: Business Recorder, Source 3: Journalism Pakistan

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an umbrella organization of all the journalist’s unions across the country, set up a six-member committee to probe the incident of kidnapping of Matiullah Jan as well as to monitor the progress in police investigation.

Police submit report to Supreme Court in journalist abduction case

Date: August 6, 2020 – Source: Dawn

As the Supreme Court resumed hearing a contempt of court case against senior journalist Matiullah Jan, the capital police furnished a report conceding that they are still waiting for replies from different departments for the assistance they had sought to unearth the kidnapping of the journalist.

Pemra for stopping exhibition of Indian content

Date: August 7, 2020 – Source: The News

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Chairman Muhammad Saleem Baig expressed the resolve to stop exhibition of illegal Indian and indecent content on cable television and ensure that they show only legal channels and content on their networks.

Freedom Network calls on government to step up efforts to pass the Journalists Protection Bill

Date: August 7, 2020 – Source: Freedom Network

Freedom Network (FN), while welcoming Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari’s statement of support for the Journalist Protection Bill, called on the government to step up efforts to pass the bill at the earliest.

Supreme Court chides police over report in journalist kidnap case

Date: August 7, 2020 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Pakistan Today

The Supreme Court censured the capital police chief over the report on the kidnapping of senior journalist Matiullah Jan which the court found ‘altogether unsatisfactory’.

Pakistani journalist, found dead in Sweden, laid to rest in Turbat

Date: August 9, 2020 – Source: Dawn

Months after his death in Sweden, journalist Sajid Hussain was laid to rest in Turbat district of Balochistan.

Textbook board managing director removed for ‘banning’ books

Date: August 10, 2020 – Source 1: Dawn, Source 2: Runway Pakistan

The Punjab government has removed Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Managing Director Manzoor Hussain from his post who recently banned around 100 textbooks in the province.

Journalists opine that Mir Shakil’s arrest a lesson to media practitioners

Date: August 11, 2020 – Source: The News

A league of mainstream journalists has opined that Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman’s continued arrest should be a lesson to media practitioners across the country. Participating in a virtual dialogue session, journalists agreed that media in Pakistan is being pressurized.

Media, National Accountability Bureau and democracy

Date: August 12, 2020 – Source: The News

Across the country media workers and legal experts have been protesting in all major cities against the continued detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the editor-in-chief of the Jang-Geo Group.

Council of Islamic Ideology says Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman’s arrest against Shariah

Date: August 12, 2020 – Source: The News

Terming the NAB law contrary to the Islamic injunctions, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology Dr. Qibla Ayaz termed the arrest of Jang and Geo Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman against Shariat.

Women journalists in Pakistan seek protection against attacks on social media

Date: August 13, 2020 – Source 1: South Asia Monitor, Source 2: Dawn

A group of well-known Pakistani women journalists has sought protection against what they termed “vicious attacks” directed at them through social media, allegedly by people linked to the ruling government.

Women journalists speak up

Date: August 14, 2020 – Source: The News

A group of women journalists, political writers and commentators who are all part of the mediascape have written an open statement, condemning the abuse they face online, and asking that troll teams and those in powerful positions put an end to such attacks.

Newspaper office attacked in Peshawar

Date: August 17, 2020 – Source: Freedom Network

A local newspaper office and its editor Aftab Khattak were attacked in Peshawar by unknown persons. They damaged office equipment while the editor remains in hospital due to injuries sustained during the attack.

Police foil attempt to abduct journalist

Date: August 18, 2020 – Source: Freedom Network

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police has foiled an attempt to abduct journalist Qess Javed in Dera Ismail Khan and have arrested the abductors.

Cases of harassment against women journalists to be sent to Federal Investigation Agency

Date: August 19, 2020 – Source: The News

Chairman Pakistan People’s Party and Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the issue of harassment of women journalists would be discussed with the other political parties and the recorded statements would be pursued till their logical end.

Pakistani and Afghan journalists under attack as America retreats from the long war in Afghanistan

Date: August 19, 2020 – Source: Columbia Journalism Review

Journalists are not the only target of the drive to stifle opinion. The fight for freedom has now stretched beyond the media, into the sphere of privacy and the rights of free expression guaranteed to all citizens under both the Afghan and Pakistani constitutions.

Senior journalist claims critical journalists routinely threatened in Pakistan

Date: August 19, 2020 – Source: Duetsche Welle

Senior Journalist Matiullah Jan, who was abducted and beaten in Islamabad in July, said that journalists in Pakistan who criticize the establishment and government agencies in Pakistan face dire consequences and are routinely threatened.

Pakistan Bar Council demands recovery of abducted journalist

Date: August 22, 2020 – Source: The News

Pakistan Bar Council Vice-Chairman Abid Saqi has expressed grave concern at the continued disappearance of Mudassar Mehmood Narru, a journalist and human rights activist, whose whereabouts are not known since 2018 and has demanded his recovery at the earliest.

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