Pakistan's government must ensure safety of journalists
The NUJ has condemned attacks against media workers in Pakistan, resulting in the death of journalist Zia-Ur-Rehman Farooqi.
The union has joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in calling for government to ensure security processes protect journalists in the country.
It is alleged that senior journalist Zia-Ur-Rehman Farooqi was killed by gunfire after individuals targeted him for his reporting of land grabbing schemes. Circumstances surrounding his death have since been reported to authorities through a First Information Report under Section 7 of Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act and the country’s penal code.
Farooqi’s death occurred against a backdrop of reported attacks including sexual harassment and the torture of journalists, by members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, of former president Imran Khan.
Khawar Mughal, a journalist at 92 News, stated he had been tortured and had his media equipment damaged at a public gathering by members of the PTI. Journalist Gharida Farooqi said she had been subject to cyberbullying and rape threats by PTI members on social media. Both individuals have reported incidents to the country's Federal Investigation Agency.
The IFJ said:
“Pakistan’s government must take effective measures to safeguard the safety and security of journalists so that they may carry out their professional duties without fear.
"The IFJ urges the Pakistani authorities to protect journalists in the country and to fulfill their international duties under the Pakistani Constitution regarding media and press freedom.”