The Public Media Alliance has urged the Pakistani government to rigorously investigate a reported abduction attempt on Azaz Syed, a senior correspondent at Geo TV in Islamabad on June 2.
“Geo TV is a member of the Public Media Alliance but we nevertheless condemn attacks on all journalists. The right of journalists to work without fear of attack or reprisal is a central pillar of any informed and effective democracy,” said a statement by the alliance.
It said the latest abduction attempt only adds to the necessity of greater protection for journalists and greater assurances for freedom of the press in Pakistan. Indeed, growing safety and security concerns have contributed significantly to Pakistan’s continued poor standing in numerous global press freedom rankings. Currently, the country is ranked 139/180 in this year’s Reporters without Border’s World Press Freedom Index and deemed “Not Free” by Freedom House, which cites threats safety as a primary concern, the statement maintained.
“Despite a fall in the rate of journalist killings in recent years, the intimidation and threats towards reporters and other media workers must come to an end, as must any impunity faced by those committing such crimes. The Public Media Alliance stands by the International Federation of Journalists in their call for the government to do more to ensure journalist safety and freedom of the press,” the statement concluded.