QUETTA: Media persons staged a demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club on Sunday -- the International Press Freedom Day — in commemoration of the slain journalists of Balochistan.
The head of the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) Irfan Saeed, senior journalists Shahzada Zulfiqar, Saleem Shahid and Raza Rehman addressed the protesting journalists who were holding banners and placards and chanting slogans in favour of a free press in Balochistan.
They said that journalism has become a high-risk job in Balochistan, but despite all the unforgiving circumstances, journalists have been rendering their duties honestly.
Journalists in Balochistan face pressure from various banned outfits and political parties. As many as 38 media persons have been killed while performing their duties in Balochistan.
The speakers expressed dismay that none of the assailants have been arrested so far. Following the slaying of these journalists, the provincial government had constituted a committee, but their reports have never been made public, the speakers noted.
They said that the dependants of the slain journalists could not get any compensatory amount from the government and many families were waiting for the financial aid that the government announced but never delivered.
They said that job security and non-payment of the salaries was another big issue for journalists. Many employers refuse to renew the contracts of journalists working for them.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2015.
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