Tweaking policies: Senate committee presses journalists’ security

Apart from journalists, witnesses of murder cases were also being targeted, says senator.


Peer Muhammad December 04, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


Journalists in Pakistan are frequently subject to violence, and hence should be afforded maximum security via suitable legislation, said Senator Farhatullah Babar at a session of the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Monday. 


The committee observed that not a single report regarding the security of journalists was made available to the public by the interior ministry. It asked the ministry to make public all reports pertaining to the murder of journalists during the last decade. Senator Babar emphasised that the United Nations Plan of Action regarding the safety of journalists should be implemented for the benefit of journalists.

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The ‘UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity’ is the result of a process that began in 2010 upon the request of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The plan was endorsed by the UN Chief Executives Board on April 12 2012.

Senator Babar mentioned that as many as 90 journalists were murdered during the last ten years and three journalists were killed during the current year. He added that apart from journalists, eyewitnesses of journalists’ murder cases were also being targeted, referring to the five witnesses of Wali Khan Babar who were killed in Karachi.

Furthermore, the committee also addressed some controversial hiring by Pakistan Television Network, demanding its management to present details in the next meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2012. 

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