'Media persons must be able to perform duties without fear'

Published: May 3, 2018
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Global press freedom at 13 year low according to survey 

PHOTO: FILE

Global press freedom at 13 year low according to survey PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, I wish to assure the media workers of Pakistan that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will end impunity of crimes against journalists as a manifesto pledge.

This was stated on Wednesday by PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in a message on World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated worldwide today (Thursday).

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It is a sad thought that scores of journalists in Pakistan have been killed or harmed during the last decade and in almost all cases, the perpetrators have escaped prosecution, Bilawal said, adding that this impunity of crimes must end and it will.

The PPP will appoint an independent special public prosecutor to pursue cases of crimes against journalists and create a journalists’ protection fund to assist victim journalists and their families, he said.

Those who attack journalists or commit crimes against them are those who fear freedom of expression and articulation of pluralistic ideas, he believed.

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“We will expose these elements and bring them to justice,” he said, adding that the PPP will reverse the tide of systematic erosion of freedom of expression in the name of ideology and national security.

He said that the free flow of information and ideas empowers citizens and this requires that media persons must be able to perform their duties without fear.

Bilawal urged organs of the state to bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against journalists.

Most vibrant press in Asia

“I also wish to pay tribute to all those journalists who have braved odds while performing their duties under difficult and dangerous conditions,” Bilawal concluded.

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