The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned
by reports of a series of threats levelled against the Khuzdar Press Club in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province
over the past 12 months.
The threats are in the form of
letters, phone calls and the persistent presence of armed men at the club
premises in the central Khuzdar district.
Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, reports the threats have
been made by Baloch Musallah Difah Tanzeem (BMDT), a separatist organisation angered
by local journalists’ coverage of nationalist parties and politics.
The BMDT has also reportedly threatened
individual journalists, demanding that they not report on events related to or
organised by nationalist parties and groups, the PFUJ said in a statement on
The group also claimed
responsibility for a hand-grenade attack on the Balochistan University of
Engineering and Technology last month.
“Government authorities must act on their
duty to investigate the threats against the Khuzdar Press Club and ensure the
safety of its members and employees,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
“The imperative to ensure the personal
safety of journalists attending their local press clubs across Pakistan is especially acute, following
December’s devastating suicide bomb attack on the Peshawar Press Club in North-West Frontier Province.”
The IFJ joins the PFUJ in calling on Pakistan’s
Federal Government and Balochistan’s Chief Minister to ensure the safety of
journalists and media workers in Khuzdar and throughout Balochistan, where media personnel contend
with regular intimidation from separatist groups, nationalist forces, political
parties and the paramilitary Frontier Corps.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide