Pakistan: a month of silence for journalists in Balochistan

first_imgNews November 23, 2017 – Updated on November 24, 2017 Pakistan: a month of silence for journalists in Balochistan As in the rest of Pakistan, where the army functions as a state within the state, coverage of security issues is off limits for the media. Journalists who cross this red line are liable to be harassed, arrested or murdered. News “This situation might appear absurd if it were not for the level of violence,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “The freedom to inform is essential for starting a dialogue and for conflict resolution. Like intelligence agency intimidation, preventing the distribution of newspapers can only make the situation worse. We urge all parties to let journalists do their work because it is vital for the public interest in the province.” Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder PakistanAsia – Pacific Activities in the fieldCondemning abusesProtecting journalists Armed conflictsPredatorsViolence June 2, 2021 Find out more A month after armed groups began silencing the press in the southwestern province of the Balochistan when their ultimatum expired on 24 October, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) appeals to the province’s separatist rebels and to the Pakistani intelligence agencies to leave journalists out of the conflict. Organisation Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists News Pakistani journalist carry a bed to move the body of a news cameraman after a bomb explosion in Quetta on August 8, 2016 (Banaras Khan / APF). Newscenter_img Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Pakistan to go further Receive email alerts PakistanAsia – Pacific Activities in the fieldCondemning abusesProtecting journalists Armed conflictsPredatorsViolence At the start of the year, Pakistani intelligence agents began contacting Balochi journalists and ordering them to stop covering any statements by the province’s armed separatist groups. Balochistan’s armed groups have been on RSF’s 2013 list of “Press Freedom Predators”. Pakistan’s intelligence services were added to the new list published in 2016. Pakistan is ranked 139th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. In retaliation, two rebel groups said they would respond with violence against local newspapers if they had not resumed covering the separatist struggle by 24 October. RSF and its partner in Pakistan Freedom Network launched a security fund in order to provide assistance to journalists in imminent danger. But the situation is even tenser in the unstable province of Balochistan, where around 40 journalists have been killed in the past decade. Death threats by both rebel groups and intelligence agencies are frequent. April 21, 2021 Find out more RSF_en No newspapers have circulated in almost half of Balochistan’s districts for the past month. Grenades have been thrown and building facades have been raked with bullets. Journalists have closed 23 press clubs for fear of reprisals. Reporters, media workers and newspaper vendors are all now potential victims of these rebel groups. January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img

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