IFJ calls for greater protection for journalists following bomb blast in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for greater protection of journalists following eight media workers being injured in a bomb blast in Karachi.

“News making can be a dangerous profession, “ said IFJ president Christopher Warren.

“Which is why it is essential that media employers and the government ensure the protection of journalists while covering the news,” said Warren.

Eight media workers were injured in a bomb attack while covering a religious gathering of thousands of people celebrating the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Mohammad in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday April 11, 2006.

Shahid Hussain, press photographer, lost one eye in the bomb blast and remains in hospital as does Javed Jeaja, the other journalists injured include two photographers, two cameramen, one reporter and the driver for the private GEO Channel. Several photographers’ cameras were also damaged in the bomb blast, which killed 57 people and seriously injured close to 100 others.

“Journalists’ job of ensuring that the public is well informed demands they be where the action is taking place, which frequently means being places which are volatile and unsafe,” said Warren.

”While we call on journalists to take the necessary precautions to ensure their own safety, the ultimate responsibility lies on the employers,” said Warren.

The IFJ supports the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in their call for media employers to provide greater protection for journalists, which should include, provision of safety equipment such as flak jackets and body armour and insurance to all journalists and staff members.

In light of the deteriorating safety situation for journalists, photographers and camerapersons working in Pakistan, particularly in volatile Karachi, lawless Baluchistan and the tribal areas of the North Western Frontier Province, the IFJ supports the PFUJ’s demands for full security and protection awarded to journalists by media employers.

For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 100 countries