Seven journalists were killed and 87 injured in assaults in over 150 cases of attacks on media in Pakistan over the past 12 months, an annual report chronicling the violations against national media has revealed.
According to the report, released here Sunday by Intermedia, a Pakistani media development organization focused on policy, advocacy, training and research on media issues, to mark the International Press Freedom Day today (Monday), seven journalists were killed in Pakistan in the period between May 3, 2009 and May 3, 2010, including two journalists from Balochistan, one each from Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and an Afghan journalist in Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
The journalists who laid down their lives in the line of duty included TV reporter Azmat Ali Bangash (killed on 18 April 2010 in a suicide attack in a Kohat bazar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa); TV cameraman Malik Arif (killed on 17 April 2010 in a suicide attack on a hospital in Quetta, Balochistan); local newspaper reporter Hameed Marwat (killed on 17 February 2010 in target shooting on the journalist in Quetta, Balochistan); TV reporter Ashfaq Mangi (killed on 17 February 2010 by unknown gunmen in target attack in Khairpur, Sindh); senior journalist Raza Ali (tortured and killed on 14 September 2009 in Islamabad at his home by unidentified intruders); senior Afghan journalist Janullah Hashimzada (killed in an attack on 4 August 2009 by unidentified gunmen in Khyber Agency, FATA) and newspaper reporter Muhammad Akram (killed by unidentified gunmen on 6 June 2009 in Faisalabad, Punjab).
In the period under review, a staggering 87 journalists were assaulted and injured, including 53 in Punjab, 12 in Islamabad, 11 in Sindh, five in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, two in Balochistan and one in FATA
At least 13 journalists were reported missing, abducted or arrested in the same period, including three each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, two each in Islamabad, Punjab and Sindh and one in Balochistan.
In the period under review, the report also documented at least 17 cases of intimidation and threats to journalists or media organizations, including nine in Punjab, four in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three in Islamabad and one in Sindh.
Intermedia Pakistan supports freedom of expression, access to information and citizens making informed opinions and decisions as a means of promoting an informed, democratic and tolerant society. Intermedia’s principal activities are centered on building technical and professional capacities and competencies of media organizations, including TV, radio and newspapers, and media rights bodies through trainings; promoting free media through fair media laws and reforms and carrying out research, advocacy and analysis on democracy and media issues.
Intermedia focuses on improving the quality of civic and thematic dialogue by working with civil society groups in building their capacities in a dynamically evolving media sector.