Rights activists express concern over attacks on journalists in Pakistan

Special Rights activists express concern over attacks on journalists in Pakistan
Pakistani journalists and civil society activists hold placards against the attack on Ahmed Noorani, a senior journalist of a local newspaper who was attacked by people on motorbikes on October 26, during a protest in Karachi. (AFP)
Updated 29 October 2017

Rights activists express concern over attacks on journalists in Pakistan

Rights activists express concern over attacks on journalists in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Human rights activists have expressed concern over attacks on journalists in Pakistan.
On Friday, six assailants riding motorcycles attacked and seriously injured investigative journalist Ahmed Noorani in broad daylight on a main road in Islamabad. They pulled him and his driver out of a car, badly beat them then fled the scene.
Noorani was hospitalized and is now in a stable condition. The attack was widely condemned by journalists, politicians and other segments of society.
Dr. Medhi Hassan, chairman of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), said rights activists are extremely concerned and feel that journalists are at risk in the country.
“Threats against investigative journalists are always high,” he told Arab News. “They need protection, and media houses should provide them with sufficient security.”
The attack on Noorani came two weeks after local journalist Haroon Khan was killed in the northwestern town of Swabi.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a banned militant outfit, claimed responsibility for the killing.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CJP) urged Pakistani authorities to swiftly investigate and bring to justice perpetrators of attacks against journalists and news organizations.
The CPJ said three attacks were reported in Balochistan amid threats to news organizations and distributors by armed groups in the southwestern province.
“These repeated brutal attacks show once again that nowhere is safe for journalists or news workers in Pakistan,” said the CPJ’s Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler.
“Pakistani authorities must assure that these attacks on press freedom come to a halt by swiftly finding and punishing those responsible.”
Afzal Butt, president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), told Arab News that since the year 2000, about 120 journalists have been killed in the country.