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Thursday June 20, 2024

PFUJ wants end to violence against journalists, media workers

October 31, 2022

ISLAMABAD. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has decided to dedicate the "International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists" to Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif who was killed in suspicious circumstances in Kenya.

The UN International Day to end impunity for Crimes against Journalists is observed on November 2 each year across the world as a reminder of killings of two French journalists in Mali in 2013, says a press release.

The UN Resolution declaring November 2 as International Day also urged the member states to implement definite measures to counter the present culture of impunity. Ending impunity for crimes against journalists is one of the most pressing issues to guarantee freedom of expression and access to information for all citizens.

In Pakistan this issue is more serious as between 2006 and 2020, over 80 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the public. In nine out of ten cases the killers go unpunished.

Most recently one of the most renowned investigative journalist Arshad Sharif has been killed in Kenya under suspicious circumstances. "We have joined hands with Parliamentarians Commission for Human Rights (PCHR) and Peace & Justice Network (PJN) to commemorate this day to end impunity to crimes against journalists," PFUJ President Afzal Butt and Secretary General Arshad Ansari in a joint press statement issued in Islamabad Sunday. "With the collaboration of PCHR and PJN we are organising a dialogue at National Press Club on 2nd November, 2022 at 3:pm to devise a strategy to counter threats of violence and crimes against journalists," the two leaders said.

The joint statement by PFUJ leaders Afzal Butt and Arshad Ansari also called upon the press clubs across the country to hoist black flags at their buildings on November 2 as well as to organise seminars and hold rallies to demand from Kenyan government transparent investigation to identify the assassins of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif.

The two PFUJ leaders said the joint dialogue at National Press Club, Islamabad will also focus to ensure that the State of Pakistan should do its utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability, bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers, and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies as well as to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference.