The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in strongly condemning the bomb attack on the home of a journalist in Peshawar, Pakistan on July 2, 2014 – the third attack on the journalist’s home this year.
This week’s incident saw unidentified attackers placed a bomb in the home of Jamshed Baghwan, the bureau chief of the Express News. Both the house and a car were damaged when the device exploded. The journalist and his family escaped the attack as Baghwan had seen unidentified men on a motorcycle planting the bomb. He and his wife took cover as the bomb exploded.
Police have begun an investigation into the attack but as yet no arrests have been made.
Unidentified men had previously planted a bomb at his home in March this year – that device was found and defused. A month later, masked men hurled a hand grenade at his home.
The latest attack is the fourth on a journalist associated with Express News in 2014. The TV channel has lost four staff members. In January, three employees were shot dead in Karachi when its van came under attack. In March, senior anchor Raza Rumi was attacked in Lahore and his driver was killed. In 2013, the channel’s Karachi office was attacked twice, without any casualties.
The PFUJ has expressed “anguish and pain” over the latest incident, noting the failure of authorities to protect Baghwan despite them being aware that he has been targeted twice before. The PFUJ said: “The attack has further increased the sense of insecurity among journalists as its shows that police are not taking the attacks on media seriously.”
Despite national and international campaigns, and repeated commitments from the government of Pakistan, the attacks on journalists and media continue to rise in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.
The IFJ said: “The deteriorating security situation for journalists in Pakistan is deeply concerning. We call for an immediate investigation into the latest attack. Pakistan’s journalists are confronted by a horrific situation: a disturbing spike in violent attacks on individual journalists as well as the ruthless targeting of specific news outlets. Decisive action must be taken to improve their security.”
“The government must heed the calls of the media community in Pakistan and take meaningful steps to ensure the safety of journalists. The government must make every effort to ensure that death threats and violent attacks on journalists and media outlets are thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.”