Journalists Join Global Protest to Defend Press Freedom in Pakistan

<font size="4"><font size="2">Journalists’ and press freedom groups around the world joined forces today to support the demands of their courageous colleagues in Pakistan who have been demanding an end to the Government clampdown on the media under emergency decrees imposed on 3 November.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), called for the Global Day of Action when Pakistan’s President, Pervez Musharraf, issued ordinances that severely restrict media workers and institutions in Pakistan.

There has been action on every continent as the global nature of the protest took shape. Journalists’ associations in South Asia, under the umbrella of the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) and affiliates from South East Asia and the Pacific united to defend the media workers of Pakistan. Representatives of SAMSN members personally delivered letters of protest to Pakistan ambassadors and high commissioners in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

In India, the National Union of Journalists issued a protest condemning the suppression of the Pakistani media in the wake of President Musharraf’s emergency decree.

Beyond the region, similar protests and actions were undertaken in countries around the world including Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Mauritius, Malaysia, Norway, Romania, the United States and Uruguay.

The President of the National Union of Journalists Malaysia Morila Mohd Daud and General Secretary Mr Hong Boon visited the Pakistan High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) also delivered a petition letter to the Consul General of Pakistan and released it publicly to coincide with the Global Day of Action. Similar action was taken by the Japan Federation of Commercial Broadcast Workers’ Union MINPOROREN.

In Australia, the deputy high commissioner Mr. Tanveer Akhtar Khaskeli promised representatives of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), an affiliate of the IFJ, to convey the union’s concern about press freedom and rights to his Government. He defended the Government's position and its proposals for a media code of conduct.

However, the PFUJ and IFJ oppose such a code, which makes media workers and institutions accountable to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority (PEMRA). Some smaller broadcasters in Pakistan are reported to have signed a PEMRA code of conduct in order to win permission to resume broadcasting, while others that refuse to sign remain off the air.

For more information contact IFJ headquarters: +32 2 235 2207

or Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries</font>


<font size="4">India</font>


Members of the Indian Journalists' Union, an IFJ affiliate, joined other civil society groups in protesting the media crackdown in Pakistan under the new Emergency decree. 



<font size="2">The National Union of Journalists (India) demonstrated outside the Pakistan High Commission against the media curbs introduced under the Emergency decree. They were joined by senior office-holders of the All India Newspaper Employees' Federation.</font>

<font size="4">Malaysia</font>


President of National Union of Journalists Malaysia  Norila Mohd Daud with the High Commissioner.

<font size="4">IFJ Secretariat in Brussels</font>


IFJ Human Rights Officer Rachel Cohen gives a protest letter to the Pakistan Embassy Press Councillor in Brussels.

The following countries sent delegations or protested in front of the Pakistan Embassy or High Commission in their country.

You can click on the links to read some of their letters and press releases.


A delegation of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, led by Virginia Haussegger, delivered a letter of protest to the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan in Canberra.

Hong Kong


Letters were delivered to a representative of Pakistan’s High Commissioner in India by members of the National Union of Journalists (India), the All India Newspaper Employees Federation (AINEF) and the Indian Journalists Union (IJU). Journalists held a peaceful demonstration outside the Pakistan High Commission.

Sabina Inderjit, a member of the IFJ’s Executive Committee, also delivered a letter protesting the anti-media actions in Pakistan, while the Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) issued a press release condemning the Pakistan’s emergency decree.



The President of the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJM), Norila Mohn Daud, met with the High Commissioner of Pakistan to hand over a letter from the NUJM General Secretary, Hong Boon How.


The Chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Jose Torres Jr., gave a letter of protest to Pakistan’s Ambassador, Muhammad Naeem Khan, condemning the emergency decrees.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's five journalists' organisations as well as a South Asia Free Media Association representative visited the Pakistan High Commission to hand over a protest letter. They met with the mission's Information Officer as the High Commissioner was unavailable.


The Forum of Mauritian Journalists (FMJ) delivered a letter of protest to the Pakistan High Commission.


The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) organised a protest rally with other organisations of more than 200 journalists and civil society members. They submitted a memorandum to the Pakistan Embassy in Kathmandu. Pakistan officials would not accept the letter, so the FNJ president, Bishnu Nisthuri, posted the document on the embassy wall.

Great Britain: press release / letter

The following countries sent letters of protest to the Embassy of Pakistan in their country or to the Ambassador who represents their region.

You can click on the links to read some of their letters and press releases.



Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Journalists (FEPALC)



United States