IFJ Concerned by Threats to Khuzdar Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned

by reports of a series of threats levelled against the Khuzdar Press Club in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province

over the past 12 months.

 

The threats are in the form of

letters, phone calls and the persistent presence of armed men at the club

premises in the central Khuzdar district.

 

The Pakistan

Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, reports the threats have

been made by Baloch Musallah Difah Tanzeem (BMDT), a separatist organisation angered

by local journalists’ coverage of nationalist parties and politics.

 

The BMDT has also reportedly threatened

individual journalists, demanding that they not report on events related to or

organised by nationalist parties and groups, the PFUJ said in a statement on

April 10.

 

The group also claimed

responsibility for a hand-grenade attack on the Balochistan University of

Engineering and Technology last month.

 

“Government authorities must act on their

duty to investigate the threats against the Khuzdar Press Club and ensure the

safety of its members and employees,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.

 

“The imperative to ensure the personal

safety of journalists attending their local press clubs across Pakistan is especially acute, following

December’s devastating suicide bomb attack on the Peshawar Press Club in North-West Frontier Province.”

 

The IFJ joins the PFUJ in calling on Pakistan’s

Federal Government and Balochistan’s Chief Minister to ensure the safety of

journalists and media workers in Khuzdar and throughout Balochistan, where media personnel contend

with regular intimidation from separatist groups, nationalist forces, political

parties and the paramilitary Frontier Corps.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide