Twenty-nine journalists have been killed in Pakistan in the past five years, many of them for carrying out their professional duties. It is of great concern that Pakistan, for the second year in succession, has topped the list of the country with the most journalists killed in one year.
Very few, if any, of the perpetrators have been brought to justice.
Furthermore, there have been numerous reports of intimidation of journalists by state and non-state actors, including Najam Sethi, a respected Pakistani journalist and laureate of the WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom, who has received serious threats after raising questions about the military’s role in politics.
The Board of WAN-IFRA calls on President Ali Zardari to ensure media professionals can conduct their work without fear of violence or retribution, and to take vigorous measures to end the impunity that protects those who murder and intimidate them. The Board respectfully reminds President Ali Zardari that it is his responsibility to guarantee his citizen’s access to broad and independent news reporting.