FN Threat Data Analysis – October 2023
Twenty-four threat cases, including harm, legal action, attack on home and fine and displacement, against journalists in Pakistan were monitored and documented during October 2023.
The documentation of these cases is undertaken under Pakistan Press Club Safety Hubs Network programme, an award-winning civil liberty organisation Freedom Network is managing since 2016.
Award-winning media watchdog organization is manning eight safety hubs across Pakistan to monitor and document these violations and assist journalists at risks.
ATTEMPT TO MURDER
Geo News channel reporter Yasir Shah was shot and wounded by masked motorcyclists along with his cameraman while returning from coverage of an event in Kohat on 29 October 2023.
Yasir got right arm fractured in the attack while his cameraman remained safe. The journalist faced bomb explosion outside his home’s gate early this year and he was target of militant groups also in the past.
ASSAULT WITHOUT INJURY
Dawn News channel reporter Adil Waqar was allegedly roughed by doctors on 8 October 2023 in Dera Ismail Khan city where the journalist went to report mysterious death of a child in hospital.
On October 29, two reporters Ata Saqi Amal e Peham and Kashif Ur Rehman of Roz TV, were abused by the local police when they were covering the land dispute in Jalalpur Peer Wala Multan.
SHO Saddar PS Tahir Awan abused and threatened them and snatched their mobiles also. Later, reporter Kashif was detained for some time but was released later.
Islamabad police stopped reporter Amir Baloch of SUCH TV for covering Jamaat e Islami’s rally who were expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Islamabad on 26 October. When the reporter insisted that it is his duty to cover the rally the police detained him and snatched his mobile. Police also threatened him to register FIR against him. On the intervention of journalist’s groups and NPC Amir Baloch is released. NPC condemned police act.
Police manhandled and stopped Cameraman Sardar Shahzad of Daily Bolta Pakistan from covering former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appearance in Islamabad High Court on October 26. Officials of Frontier Constabulary manhandled him and pushed him away to stop him covering and threatened the cameraman of torture, if did not leave the area.
Click on below link to read September 2023 threat data analysis report:
ACTUAL LEGAL ACTION
Khairpur police registered FIR against 16 working journalists from different media outlets in Hingorja, Sindh. Journalists were covering the farmers’ protest and demonstration on October 12. The journalists were nominated in FIR # 95/2023 at Hingorja Police Station under section 341-3653-506/2- 143-145-147-149-150-151-152-153- 352 and 427 of PPC.
List of journalists who were nominated in the above false case are 1) Ghulam Hussain Chang – (Sindh TV) 2) Shamsuddin Rajpur (Dharti TV) 3) Abdul Jabbar Chang (Time News) 4) Fayaz Hussan Solongi (KTN and Kawish) 5) Sajad Arain (Voice News) 6) Hakim Sahito (Gegal Newspaper) 7) Aziz Memon (Sindh) 8) Hakim Jokhio (Irada newspaper) 9) Insaf Mangnejo (Daily Mehran) 10) Abdul Razaq Lashari (Time News) 11) Mehboob Sahito (Dharti TV) 12) Zahid Samtio (Dharti TV) 13) Jamal Mehmood Khuhro (Koshish) 14) Manzoor Sandh (Mehran TV) 15) Zulfiqar Sahito (MY TV) and 16) Waqar Ali (Mehran TV).
A fake case was registered against journalist Muhamad Aslam Mahar, reporter of Dharti TV, by Excise Police on 29 October 2023. Aslam was arrested on 30 October 2023 due to report about the Excise Department officials.
Imran Noshad, a freelance podcaster went missing on October 29 from Lahore. Few days before Imran had interviewed Imaan Mazari, a Human Rights Activist and Lawyer in his podcast where some views were shared about the establishment. Imran retruned home safely on October 31.
Freedom Network referred a case of journalist Ravi Kumar from Saleh Pat (Sukkur) Press Club to Commission on Protectionn of Journalists and other Media Practitioners (CPJMP) for its pursual to save the journalist from harassment and intimidation he is facing while pursuing murder cases of his killed journalist brother and and relative.
The Commission is set up under Sindh Protection of Journalists and other Media Practitioners Act-2021 to combat impunity for crimes against journalists in Sindh province.
Threats, Attacks, and Harassment against Various Types of Media:
Fourteen TV, nine print and one digital journalist received these threats during October 2023.
Threat Actors Attacking and Harassing Journalists and Media:
Twenty-two state actor and two unknown threat actors were believed involved in these threats these journalists faced.