The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) stands by its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), in demanding that Pakistan’s Government restore the economic, professional and basic human rights of journalists in recognition of International Human Rights Day.
The PFUJ, which has led journalists in a five-week campaign of protests since President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule and brought in anti-media laws on November 3, marked International Human Rights Day today by holding seminars and demonstrations.
Rallies of media workers protested the arrest of 187 journalists in Karachi in late November, the detainment of relatives of the President of the Sukkur Press Club, and violent attacks against journalists in Hyderabad, Quetta, Peshawar and Abbotabad.
The PFUJ said continuing curbs on the media, particularly on GEO and Royal television stations and FM-99 Radio, not only threaten the employment of more than 5000 media workers but jeopardise freedom of expression as the country prepares for national elections.
The PFUJ is also encouraging media owners and senior editors to join their colleagues in condemning the Government’s actions against the media, and also to work to improve the working conditions of journalists in the country.
“Working journalists have shown their courage and it is now up to the media owners and editors to join the struggle and play their due role,” said PFUJ General Secretary Mazhar Abbas.
The PFUJ has recorded thousands of cases of newspaper employees who have been deprived of their economic rights due to fixed-salary contracts and non-implementation of the Seventh Wage Award.
“Journalists in Pakistan are continuing to demonstrate their commitment to uphold the media freedom that is crucial to secure democracy in any country,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“Now is the time for the Government to realise that these journalists know and understand their rights and will continue protesting until they are restored.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries