Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pakistan - Media Safety Pakistan journalists protest against murders, kidnapping of media personnel

Pakistan - Media Safety

Pakistan journalists protest against murders, kidnapping of media personnel

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Islamabad: Journalists boycotted coverage of the Senate and National Assembly sessions on Monday [20 September] to protest against the murders and kidnapping of media representatives. They also announced to continue their protest until the government took steps to ensure adequate protection for all journalists.

The protesting journalists first staged a walkout from the National Assembly's press galleries and later announced to continue their boycott until the fulfilment of their demands. Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief whip also failed to resolve the row and bring back the protesting journalists to the press galleries.

However, speaking on the floor of the House, Awan said the journalists wanted that the relevant authorities should provide them protection and introduce health insurance. He said that the reporters also demanded the creation of a fund to compensate the families of their colleagues, who had lost their lives while performing their duties. He said the journalists had been assured that their demands would be taken up with the relevant authorities.

Earlier, the minister was informed by representatives of the Rawalpindi, Islamabad Union of Journalists that there was anxiety among the journalists regarding the continued attacks, manhandling and kidnappings of media representatives. They pointed out that 30 journalists had been killed so far, but subsequent governments had failed to arrest any murderer. They urged the government to fulfil their long-standing demands and also resolve the issue of the Wage Board Award.

The journalists said that the interior minister had promised to provide bullet-proof vests to the journalists along with full security, but no such step had been taken. However, the journalists announced to continue boycott until the fulfilment of their demands. The journalists also held a protest demonstration outside the Parliament House before the start of the sessions.

BBC Mon MD1 Media FMU SA1 SAsPol ils

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