Pakistan Government Claim on ‘Press Freedom’ Is Misleading

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses its concern over the ongoing demise of media freedom in Pakistan. The IFJ agrees with recent comments from its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), that a government advertisement, “Freedom of Expression…Like never before,” was extremely misleading.

According to the PFUJ, professionals working for the Pakistani media are still confronted by existing “black laws”, such as the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.

The IFJ supports the PFUJ in their decision to release a report in the next few days concerning the condition of the press in Pakistan under President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shoukat Aziz.

The report will include the number of the journalists killed, attacked, kidnapped by intelligence agencies and the deteriorating working conditions for thousands of newspaper employees.

In Islamabad, there have been at least four violent incidents against journalists in the past week. These include the illegal confinement of two reporters of Dawn News and Aryone World; the torture of one reporter; and the detainment of TV news crew members from Waqat TV on Monday.

IFJ Asia-Pacific Jacqueline Park says that media freedom in Pakistan continues to decline and demands that the Pakistani government acts immediately.

“These latest reports of human right violations against journalists come as no surprise,” Park said.

“While Pakistan’s government may advertise an increase in press freedom, the past seven years have seen little to no action taken against those who have wounded or murdered journalists in Pakistan. President Musharraf should aim to rectify the situation instead of creating misleading advertisements.”

The IFJ supports the PFUJ appeal to all members of public in Pakistan to unite to defend press freedom and protect journalists in Pakistan.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in more than 114 countries