Threat Data Analysis – January 2022
A YouTuber was arrested after he uploaded a song which locals did not like while a journalist’s home came under attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during January 2022 as the two cases were documented and monitored through the Pakistan Press Club Safety Hubs Network programme, an award-winning civil liberty organisation that has been managed by Freedom Network since early 2016.
The Islamabad-based Freedom Network has been assisting journalists at risk in four different categories in partnership with three press clubs in Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar under the Pakistan Press Club Safety Hub Network programme since February 2016.
ARRESTED: YouTuber Lala Khurshid Khan Hazara was arrested on 17 January 2022 in Balakot town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after he uploaded a song which led to protest from a Pashtun sub-sect demanding registration of a case and his arrest. The police took no time to register the case as the protestors gathered outside the police station bringing cops under pressure to meet the demands promptly. The YouTuber also runs his Facebook page highlighting local issues. He was sent on judicial remand after presented before an anti-terrorism court in Abbottabad city. A bail application has been submitted for his release.
ATTACK ON HOME: Unidentified men opened indiscriminate fire at house of journalist Malik Muhammad Iqbal, who is bureau chief of Aaj News channel and president of Electronic Media Association, in Haripur district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 21 January 2022. An FIR was lodged against unknown attackers and no arrest was made till filing of this report. The journalist told Freedom Network that four to six bullets were fired at his home adding all the family members remained safe. “I am not sure why this attack has taken place. Yes, there were some tickers on my channel about robberies in the area,” Malik Iqbal said.
Click the below link to read December 2021 threat data analysis report:
Threats, attacks against various types of media:
One journalist was electronic media while another belonged to digital media.
Threat actors attacking and harassing journalists and the media:
In one case police registered the case against the YouTuber while in attack on residence of journalist the attackers remained unknown.
NOTE: Freedom Network closed Karachi and Islamabad safety hubs this year after the Sindh and federal governments enacted special laws to protect journalists and help end impunity for crimes against media as it was the exit strategy while designing this assistance mechanism way back in November 2015.