Your Excellency, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to express its deep concern over the recent decision by Pakistan's broadcast regulator to suspend the privately owned ARY News, which is watched by millions in the country. We urge your government to ensure the channel is immediately restored.
Pakistani journalists I have met over the years know that while I might be an American, I have never been an apologist for the U.S. government. The goal of the Committee to Protect Journalists is to assist members of the press no matter where they are, and if we have to criticize their governments, well that's part of the job. We don't accept money from any government, and we don't promote any government's policies. We stay focused on journalists, their safety, and their rights. My beat is Asia, and the threats and intimidation faced by journalists working in that region is where our Asia team puts its focus.
The apparent back-to-back murders of two American freelance journalists by the same group are unprecedented in CPJ's history. The beheadings on camera in a two-week period of first James Foley and then Steven Sotloff appear to be an acceleration of a pattern--dating at least to Daniel Pearl's killing in 2002--of criminal and insurgent groups displaying the murders of journalists to send a broad message of terror.
The ongoing political crisis in Pakistan turned deadly over the weekend with three protesters dead and at least 500 wounded in the capital, Islamabad. As is often the case, the press was not spared from violence, with dozens of journalists covering the rally injured by police or protesters, according to news reports and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.
New York, August 28, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of two journalists and a network employee in Pakistan today, and calls on authorities to investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.
New York, August 27, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to immediately investigate threats made against Pakistani journalist Kamran Shafi and his family, and to ensure their security.
New York, August 25, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on all sides to respect the role of journalists and media workers covering an anti-government demonstration in Pakistan. Journalists from various news outlets have been attacked while covering the "Freedom March", according to news reports.
In April, Geo News senior anchor Hamid Mir was shot multiple times shortly after a CPJ delegation met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who pledged to take several steps to improve journalist security. The investigation into the attack has yielded no accountability. And since the attack, two arrest warrants have been issued by courts in Quetta and Lahore against Mir, and Geo continues to face challenges.
CPJ received an email message from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan-- the Pakistan Taliban--this morning. Signed by the "Media commission, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Mohmand agency," the message was addressed to CPJ and our colleagues at Reporters Without Borders.
Sign up for emailed alerts and newsletters to track global developments in press freedom. Be notified whenever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored, or harassed. Or get a monthly newsletter to keep up with CPJ’s efforts to defend journalists around the globe.