Islamabad : On 30 January 2023, Awareness Foundation (AF) organized a national Seminar to issue a report regarding the violence on journalism. The report titled Mapping the violence on journalism on Pakistan, which was released, gave statistics on the torture of 85 journalists during 2022.
Several well-known journalists including President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Afzal Butt, Anchors Imran Riaz Khan, Sami Ibrahim, Zamir Haider, Shiffa Yousafzai, Senior Journalist Professor Tahir Naeem Malik, President National Press Club Anwar Raza, Journalist Leader Mazhar Iqbal, Director Operation Awareness Foundation Razi Tahir, Manager Awareness Foundation Malaika Noor, Head of Research and Analysis Desk AF Nimla Mazhar, Analyst International Affairs Raja Faisal were present at the occasion. Journalists associated with social media were also part of the event.
According to the data of the report, during the year 2022, more than 85 cases from various sources are collected, and there were many other cases of threats that victims were unable to report due to fear of the establishment and the powerful authorities. 5 journalists killed, 2 abducted, more than 10 detained, 6 publicly tortured, 7 faced treason cases and 5 journalists left the county during 2022.
The report throws light on there are hazards and security risks in Pakistan’s media environment. 90% of active journalists admitted to receiving threats while performing their professional duties. The most alarming part of threats is their tone of severe repercussions, which is reported by 90% of journalists. Amongst the journalists who reported that they were being targeted, 5% were killed, 3% were kidnapped, 20 % were verbally harassed, 8% were detained, 3% were arrested, 14% were assaulted, and legal cases were filed against 7%. Despite rules and laws, valance exited there in Pakistan. The report unveiled the ill-legal censorship of the News channels by the PEMRA.
Addressing the event, Afzal Butt said that we are constantly struggling for the rights of journalists, the Constitution of Pakistan is our red line, journalists should be guaranteed the rights given in the Constitution of Pakistan. Anchor person Imran Riaz Khan said that there is a need to unite against oppression, the opponents benefit from the division of the journalistic community. Powerful circles are behind this division and through it they fulfil their interests.
The other speakers including President National Press Club Anwar Raza, Anchors Zamir Haider, Shiffa Yousafzai, and Sami Ibrahim demanded the judiciary to stop the increasing violence against journalists and also demanded freedom of speech. The speakers also emphasized on immediate investigation into the murder of Arshad Sharif Shaheed and ensuring justice.