Politicians, civil society back journalists' call for security
A joint declaration for safety of media persons has been duly signed by the leaders of all political parties, including senior minister Bashir Ahmad Bilaur, Secretary Information Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Haneef Khan Orakzai representatives of the civil society, lawyers, human rights activists, parliamentary leaders in the KPK Assembly, President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Pervaz Shaukat, Vice President PFUJ Jamshed Baghwan, Secretary General PFUJ Shamsul Islam Naz, Makdoom Bilal, Treasurer of the PFUJ, Secretary General APNEC Najm-us-saqib, President Peshawar Press Club Shamim Shahid, President Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) Syed Bukhar Shah and General Secretary (KhUJ) Aneela Shaheen.
The declaration adopted in a gathering held at (PPC) calling for the federal and provincial governments to take appropriate measures on priority basis for safety of the media persons during professional assignments in the conflict areas.
The declaration says "We the participants of dialogue 'Keeping Journalists Safe Makes Democracy Stronger' conference held at Peshawar Press Club on Oct 21, 2010 jointly organized by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Intermedia with collaboration of the International Media Support (IMS) urge upon the Federal as well Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa governments to adopt a fool poof strategy for protection and safety of the journalists working in war zones.
"We believe it is very important that journalists can do their job independently and freely and are not attacked,"
"We condemn all attacks targeting journalists, media professionals and associated personnel covering armed conflicts or otherwise held up in conflicts areas during reporting."
"We urge upon governments and all other parties to an armed conflict" to do all they can to prevent crimes against journalists, investigate any crimes that occur and bring the perpetrators to justice".
"We are also of the view that it must be specified that media equipment and facilities are civilian rather than military installations and in this respect must not become targets of attacks or reprisals unless they are military objectives".
"At least 163 media related employees have so far lost their lives since Ist Jan. 2000 in
"We also feel deeply concerned at the frequency of acts of violence, including deliberate attacks, in many parts of the world against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel, in armed conflicts, and condemn such attacks and call on all parties to curb such practices."
"We also endorse the UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED RESOLUTION 1738 of 2006 by the UN Security Council which called for acknowledgment of the war correspondents right of being given the status of prisoners of war without any prejudice under the Third Geneva Convention, which stated that the journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered civilians, to be respected and protected as such".
"We also urge upon the Media Houses of
"We also undertake to take appropriate steps through our governments, political parties and platforms for supporting the cause of safety and conducive working environment for media person", the deceleration concluded.
Shamsul Islam Naz
PAKISTAN FEDERAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS
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