New York, March 3, 2014--A Pakistani court on Saturday convicted six defendants for their roles in the murder of Wali Khan Babar, a Geo TV journalist who was shot dead in Karachi in January 2011, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the convictions--the first in the murder of a Pakistani journalist--but calls on authorities to ensure the masterminds are brought to justice.
New York, February 18, 2014--Pakistani authorities should launch an efficient investigation into attacks against media outlets in Karachi and ensure the perpetrators are held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Economists and political scientists acknowledge that journalism is vital to development and democracy. By Robert Mahoney
Eliminating witnesses has become an all too easy and eff ective method of stymying justice when journalists are assassinated. By Elisabeth Witchel
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif won general elections in May, though the vote was marred by violence, including bomb blasts targeting polling stations. The Pakistani media's nonstop election coverage made news organizations full-fledged partners in the democratic process, intrinsic to the first civilian transfer of power after the completion of a five-year term by a democratically elected government. At least five journalists were killed this year--fewer than in 2012. One was a targeted killing. CPJ continues to investigate the killings of three other journalists in unclear circumstances, two of whom were Baluch. Legislative action stemming from a March conference on the U.N. Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity had yet to materialize, though the government repeated its commitment to enacting legislation. Three correspondents--from The New York Times, The Hindu, and Press Trust of India--were expelled from Pakistan in 2013. The Hindu and PTI were eventually allowed to replace their staff members.
New York, January 17, 2014--Pakistani authorities must conduct an efficient and thorough investigation into today's attack on an Express TV van in which three media workers were killed and a cameraman injured, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. This is the third attack in six months on the Express Media Group.
Three years have passed since the murder of Geo TV journalist Wali Khan Babar in Karachi. While no justice has been found in Babar's case, his death has not been forgotten. Journalists Beena Sarwar, Umar Cheema, and Malik Siraj Akbar along with CPJ's Bob Dietz commemorated the anniversary of Babar's death on Monday during a HuffPost Live discussion: "Pakistan's Press in Peril?"
After more than a week since journalist Shan Dahar's death, it remains unclear whether he was killed in an accident or targeted for murder--and if targeted, why. The confusion serves as yet another example of how weak investigations and a lack of accountability have become the hallmarks of journalist killings in Pakistan.
The conflict in Syria, a spike in Iraqi bloodshed, and political violence in Egypt accounted for the high number of journalists killed on the job in 2013. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser
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Blog: Bob Dietz