The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has demanded the immediate withdrawal of a case against Pakistani journalist Afzal Nadeem for allegedly breaching the Official Secrets Act.
“We condemn the ongoing use of such oppressive laws on journalists and demand that this case is immediately dismissed,” said IFJ President Christopher Warren today.
Nadeem, a senior reporter of Daily Awam and GEO, is accused of publishing a story that was based on an official letter written by Lt Colonel Farooq Marwat of the National Crisis Management Cell accusing the Muhetada Quami Movement of improperly collecting Tsunami relief aid by force.
If found guilty of breaching the Official Secrets Act Nadeem could serve a maximum of 14 years jail time.
The IFJ supports the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists affiliate the Karachi Union of Journalists, call for the removal of the Official Secrets Act as it is commonly used by the Pakistani Government to silence the media.
“A free and independent press is only possible in Pakistan when journalists can report on stories in the public interest free from fear of prosecution, “ said Warren
“The removal of the Official Secrets Act would be a step towards recognising journalists’ rights in Pakistan, “ said Warren.
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries
For more information please contact Christopher Warren +61 (0) 411 757 668 or