Lahore (Press Release) Awareness Foundation arranged an informative and sensitizing seminar on Mapping the Violence on Journalism in Pakistan. The objective of this seminar, conducted in collaboration with Lahore Press Club, was to issue a report regarding the violence against journalists.
In this Seminar, Senior Analyst Ayaz Amir, President Press Club Lahore Azam Chaudhary, Analyst Isar Rana, Senior Journalist Qamar Hanif, Secretary Press Club Lahore Abdul Majeed Sajid, Director Awareness Foundation Razi Tahir, Nimla Mazhar, Mohsin Bilal and Anchor Zain Ali expressed its opinion. Journalists strongly condemned the suppression of freedom of expression and violence on journalists.
Speaking the Seminar Ayaz Amir said that Ayaz Amir said that violence has become a problem not only for journalists but for the entire society. In last 12 months, journalists were intimidated or silenced altogether, whether in the form of assault, enforced disappearances, murder or overt censorship. It seems that we have learned nothing from the past.
“Violation of free speech, pressure and above all violence against journalists is unacceptable”. he added
President Press Club Lahore Azam Chaudhary & Secretary Abdul Majeed Sajid underlined the importance of the freedom of press, free speech and expression. Every government seems to be an enemy of journalists, because they all need their preferred narrative. The Awareness Foundation identified violence against journalists, and came out with a report, now it is up to journalistic organizations to develop action plans to prevent violence against journalism.
According to the data of the report, during the year 2022, more than 96 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.
The speakers and participants of the seminar demanded immediate investigation of the murder of Arshad Sharif Shaheed from the government of Pakistan and asked to provide all possible support to the JIT formed for the investigation.