Pakistan: Media Under Attack
Pakistan was ranked in 2010 as the most dangerous country in the world in which to work as a journalist.
Of the 16 media personnel killed there during 2010, eight were murdered while eight were killed in cross-fire incidents. The killings continue.
Local authorities have not prosecuted perpetrators in any single case of the murder of a Pakistani journalist. Only in the internationally high-profile case of American Daniel Pearl has a conviction been secured.
IFJ Asia-Pacific works closely with the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists to campaign for safety and protection, improved working conditions for media personnel, and press freedom in Pakistan.
It has assisted the PFUJ to establish a union secretariat in Islamabad, following a long local and international campaign in 2007 against severe restrictions on the media under the regime of then President Pervez Musharraf.
When emergency rule was imposed in November 2007, IFJ Asia-Pacific coordinated a Global Day of Action in support of journalists in Pakistan, and sent an emergency mission to the country. (See Emergency in Pakistan report and the November 2007 Islamabad Declaration)
After national elections in February 2008, another IFJ mission met with the country’s new power-holders, who promised to revoke anti-media and anti-labour laws, and uphold press freedom. (See Pakistan: A Fresh Start for Democracy)
IFJ Asia-Pacific’s continuing work with the PFUJ includes activities that address safety and protection of journalists, union development and press freedom advocacy. Programs include training workshops, national seminars, research missions and international advocacy actions.
This work is supported by a range of funders including LO-TCO, the Swedish trade union movement. With European Union support, IFJ Asia-Pacific’s Media for Democracy in Pakistan began in 2011 in the aim of strengthening journalists’ ability to defend and promote a free, ethical and independent media in Pakistan.