IFJ Demands Employers Pay Wages Due to Media Workers in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) stands in solidarity

with journalists and media workers in Pakistan as they rally across the country

to demand an inquiry into the death of a cameraman who killed himself this week

after his employer refused to pay him several months’ wages owing to him.


Mohammad Azam Khan, 26, a cameraman at Channel 5 in Lahore, committed suicide

on December 2 after the station’s management refused his request that day for some

of his wages, according to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist (PFUJ), an

IFJ affiliate.


Like other staff at the station, Azam had not been paid for three

to four months. Azam was the only breadwinner among nine siblings


The PFUJ and the All Pakistan Newspaper Employees’

Confederation (APNEC) led rallies and prayers for Azam in Lahore,

Islamabad, Karachi

and Peshawar

this week.


Protesters and mourners are demanding an investigation into

Azam’s death and the immediate payment of wages owed to all employees of Channel

5, which is owned by the Khabrain media group headed by Zia Shahid, as well as other

news organisations.


The protesters urged the Government to link the allocation

of its advertising spending with the requirement that news organisations pay

their staff on time and in accordance with the law.


“The negligence of media employers in failing to pay their

staff what is due to them must not be permitted to continue,” IFJ Asia-Pacific



“The suicide of Mohammad Azam Khan is an appalling tragedy that

underscores the despair of journalists and media workers caught in a vicious

cycle of receiving no reward for their work and yet trying to hold on to their

jobs in an extremely tough economic climate.”


Further countrywide protests yesterday also demanded the

Government take action to ensure newspaper employers implement the 2001 Seventh

Wage Award.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide