(London – PR) Pakistan Journalists Association (PJA) expressed its concern on world press freedom day on 3rd May 2014 that “Journalism provides a platform for informed discussion across a wide range of development issues from environmental challenges and scientific progress to gender equality, only when journalists are at liberty to monitor, investigate and criticize policies and actions can good governance exist.”
Each year on world press freedom way, we reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental freedom to receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers, enshrined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We have witnessed especially in Pakistan yet every day of the year sees this right under assault.
Journalists are singled out for speaking or writing uncomfortable truths – kidnapped, detained, beaten and sometimes murdered as we just witnessed assassinate attack on a noted journalist / anchor Hamid MIR a few days back. PJA said, such treatment is completely unacceptable in a world ever more reliant on global news outlets and the journalists who serve them.
PJA has reminded that 13 journalists in 2013 and about 62 journalists were killed in last 20 years just in Pakistan, surely these are alarming figures. There must be no impunity for those who target journalists for violence, intimidation or distorted uses of legal procedures to disrupt or impede their work.
Media freedoms must continue to be at the centre of our work to promote security, dignity and prosperity for all. On this special day for journalists, I call on Government of Pakistan, societies and individuals to actively defend this fundamental right.
(PJA is body of largest Pakistani journalists based in the United Kingdom)