The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) learns with great concern from its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), that 20 journalists and media workers suffered injuries of varying degrees of severity in the lethal bombing at the headquarters of Pakistan’s military intelligence establishment in Lahore on May 27.
“The IFJ condemns this horrific terrorist attack which has taken a huge toll of innocent civilian life,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said. “At the same time, we extend our solidarity to Pakistan’s journalists, who find themselves increasingly caught in the crossfire of escalating conflict in the country.”
According to reports received from the PFUJ, the offices of the leading Pakistani newspapers, Nawa-I-Waqt, The Nation, Nia Akhbar, Khabrain and Ausaf, as also of the Waqt and Channel 5 news broadcasters, suffered serious damage in the attack, which injured several staff working in these premises.
The IFJ had recently joined Reporters Without Borders in writing to the Pakistan Government to urge that appropriate attention be given to the safety of journalists living and working in areas of conflict.
An official spokesperson for the Government was reported in local media on May 27 to have said that all necessary security assurances were being given to the media, and advising Pakistan’s journalists to take responsibility for their own security and to “avoid unnecessary adventurism”.
“It is ironic that the Lahore blast on the very same day has shown how vulnerable Pakistan’s journalists are, even in an environment they are entitled to regard as secure - their own offices,” White said.
“We call on media owners to take all necessary steps, including providing insurance cover and investing in protective gear, to ensure that the conflict does not continue to take a toll of Pakistan’s media workers.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries