The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges
Pakistan’s political parties to ensure their members refrain from abuse of
journalists who have voiced strong objection to obstruction of broadcasts by
GEO TV and ARY News since early August 8.
in Karachi and elsewhere in the country conducted rallies on August 9 to
protest blocks on the two cable television channels following the channels’
reporting of a protest against Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in Britain
on August 7. Further protests are expected today.
channels are now airing in some parts of the country, blocks on broadcasts have
particularly affected Karachi
and interior Sindh.
GEO TV reported on its website that
copies of Jang newspaper (which is associated with GEO) were burnt today
near Dhabeji, east of Karachi,
after a delivery van driver was assaulted by unknown armed men. Police have
reportedly declined to act on the assault.
also reportedly been made against the two stations. The threats are said to
have come from some members of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
reported that graffiti (or “wall chalking”) in Karachi
has expressed opposition to the stations’ coverage of Zardari’s visit to Europe while the country contends with a nation-wide humanitarian
disaster in the wake of extreme flooding over the past two weeks.
urges Pakistan’s Government
and telecommunications authorities to promptly reverse restrictions on
television broadcasts and refrain from further obstruction, especially in view
of the critical need for Pakistan’s
population to be kept well informed about the country’s unfolding emergency,”
IFJ General Secretary Aidan White
over the stations’ coverage followed an incident in Birmingham on August 7 when a protester
hurled shoes at Zardari during a PPP event.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific