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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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’.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.