LONDON – In Pakistan, journalists live under the constant threat of killings, harassment and other violence from all sides, including intelligence services, political parties and armed groups, Amnesty International said in a new report issued on Tuesday.
The report –A bullet has been chosen for you – said that attacks on journalists in Pakistan, describes how the authorities have almost completely failed to stem human rights abuses against media workers or to bring those responsible to account.
Amnesty International has documented 34 cases of journalists being killed in Pakistan in response to their work since the restoration of democratic rule in 2008, but only in one case have the perpetrators been brought to justice. But these killings are just the most brutal statistic–many more journalists have been threatened, harassed, abducted, tortured or escaped assassination attempts in the same period.
“Pakistan’s media community is effectively under siege. Journalists, in particular those covering national security issues or human rights, are targeted from all sides in a disturbing pattern of abuses carried out to silence their reporting,” said David Griffiths, deputy Asia-Pacific director at the Amnesty International.
“The constant threat puts journalists in an impossible position, where virtually any sensitive story leaves them at risk of violence from one side or another.” The report is based on extensive field research into over 70 cases and interviews with over 100 media workers in Pakistan. It examines several recent cases where journalists have been targeted for their reporting by a range of actors.