Pakistan secures negligible convictions in murder cases of journalists

Pakistan secures negligible convictions in murder cases of journalists

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 30 (ANI): The condition of media persons continues to be grim in Pakistan as the crackdown is persistent and there have been no convictions in 96 per cent of murder cases of journalists between 2012 and 2022, according to a report of Freedom Network’s Annual Impunity 2022.

According to the report, 53 Pakistani journalists were killed between 2012 and 2022 but the perpetrators were convicted in only two out of these 53 cases, Dawn reported.

Notably, the report “The killing fields: no justice for Pakistan’s murdered journalists” was launched ahead of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, which falls on November 2 due to a surge in killings of media personalities in the South Asian country.

Reacting to the report findings, Executive Director of Freedom Network, Iqbal Khattak questioned the safety and security of journalists in Pakistan and said, “This open-ended impunity for crimes against journalists and media in Pakistan is taking the ugliest shape and latest killing of under-threat journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya reminds us how stronger perpetrators of crime and press freedom predators are getting.”Arshad Sharif (49), a senior Pakistani journalist, was killed in cold blood on 24 October in Kenya when he was driving from Magadi to Nairobi, accompanied by his brother Khurram Ahmed at around 10:00 pm.

Initial reports suggested that he was shot dead in his forehead by a Kenyan sniper from the Kenyan Police. Soon, these reports were denounced as being fake when the Kenyan Police itself came out with a statement asserting the correct sequence of events, reported The Geneva Daily.

Khattak further added that the report’s findings indicated that despite the existence of laws to protect the freedom of journalists at both the federal levels as well as in Sindh province, the journalists remained unsafe.

As per the report, most of the cases never reach the completion of the trial process in the courts resulting in delayed or no justice for journalists in Pakistan. The highest cases of fatalities have been reported in the Sindh region (16, or 30 pc of the total) followed by Punjab province in Pakistan, Dawn stated citing the report.

Pakistan remains among the top 10 countries where predators of attacks on journalists and media go unpunished.

Besides fatal attacks, journalists face other categories of threats such as physical attacks, kidnappings, enforced disappearances, imprisonment, and torture. (ANI)

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Author: Shirley