Monitoring and Analyzing Threats and Attacks against Media in Pakistan:
November 2016 Report by Freedom Network
Media Analysis November 2016: harassment & Intimidation
Killings, Attacks and Threats against Journalists
In the month of November 2016, one journalist was murdered and eight other cases of attacks, detention, threats and invasion of home of a journalists in Pakistan were documented by the Pakistan Press Clubs Safety Hubs Network and the media.
The most serious case this month involved the gunning down of journalist Khalid Mehmood Butt, along with his son, in Sahiwal, Punjab, on November 29, 2016. There is no confirmation yet that he was killed for his journalism work. His family suspects he was killed for his sectarian affiliations.
There was a case of illegal detention of a journalist. Anwar Shah Orakzai, working for Daily Nai Baat and Neo TV, a member of Sadda Press club in Kurram Agency of Tribal Areas, was on November 21, 2016 arrested from his home and illegally detained by political authorities in Kurram after publishing some news reports that did not go down well with them. He was freed the next day after a warning.
Adnan Khalid, a reporter of Jaag News TV channel, was on November 20, 2016 arrested by police in Lahore, Punjab, after his motorcycle collided with a police van in Iqbal Town locality. He was assaulted by the angry policemen and kept in the police lock-up for the whole night. He was released only after Jaag TV ran a news story about his arrest and after registering a case against him under Section 186.
At 10pm on November 13, 2016, personnel of paramilitary force Rangers invaded the home of Hub Press Club President Mir Ilyas Kamboh, in Hub, Balochistan. Without a warrant they conducted a thorough search of the house for about half an hour and then left without any explanation, leaving behind a traumatized family.
On November 23, 2016, journalist Yasin Hashmi, working for Business Recorder newspaper, based in Rawalpindi, Punjab, was threatened of dire consequences by Rawalpindi Police Senior Superintendent Shahid Yaqoob for reporting about police performance that he considered as negative. The officer also banned the journalist’s entry into office for a few days.
The overall data shows that Punjab was the worst affected region in terms of numbers of incidents in November 2016, with three of the total seven violations documented and one case each in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). No fresh case was documented by the Safety Hubs of the press clubs this month in Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan or Pakistan-administered Kashmir (AJK).
Threats, Attacks & Harassment against Media Institutions
In the month of November 2016, no case of attack on media offices were documented by the Press Clubs Safety Hubs Network. There were also no known cases of written or verbal threats, formal ban or enforced censorship on a media house this month. No media house was served with a legal notice from either official quarters or from private parties.
Threats, Attacks & Harassment against Various Types of Media
In the month of November 2016, a total of five cases of attacks and threats against practitioners of various types of media were documented by the Press Clubs Safety Hubs Network. These included three cases of violations against television media and two against print media. No cases were documented against radio media, online media and other miscellaneous media.
Of the three cases against TV media practitioners, there is one case of an invasion of his house, one of a verbal threat against him and one of a police case registered against him. The two cases against print media this month related to illegal detention of a journalist and the murder of one.
Threat Actors Attacking and Harassing Journalists and Media
During November 2016, the various reported or suspected threat actors attacking or threatening media included paramilitary security force Rangers, which invaded the home of a journalist without warrant in Hub, political administration which illegally detained a journalist in Kurram and the police in Lahore which arrested a journalist and registered a case against him before setting him free.
The information collected here is based on reporting by victims or their families and does not necessarily imply it is verified, unless specified. The information filed here is in good faith and aimed at analyzing trends for the sole purpose of informing strategies to reduce threats against media and its practitioners.
Advocacy on Journalists’ Safety by Press Clubs Safety Hubs Network
In the month of November 2016, the Pakistan Press Clubs Safety Hubs Network spent a busy month. Some of the key advocacy activities on journalists’ safety in November 2016 included the following:
National Press Club, Islamabad, Safety Hub
- The manager of the National Press Club Safety Hubs helped mediate between reporter Yasin Hashmi and the Senior Superintendent Police Rawalpindi Shahid Yaqub after the latter had threatened the reporter of dire consequences for reporting about police performance and had banned him from his office. The mediation helped effect a truce between the reporter and the police officer and the lifting of the ban on him to visit police office for reporting purposes.
Dera Ismail Khan Press Club Safety Hub
- The manager of the Dera Ismail Khan Press Club Safety Hub met former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi in November 2016 and discussed the need for a made safety bill in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The senior Pakistan People’s Party leader promised to support the effort through his party not just in KP but also in Sindh province, which it governs as well as a federal bill in the National Assembly.
- The manager of the Dera Ismail Khan Press Club Safety Hub met the Minister of State for Education Baleegh ur Rehman in November 2016 and discussed the issue of safety of journalists. The minister underscored the need to keep the journalists safe from harm and promised to support the movement for safety of journalists.
Karachi Press Club Safety Hub
- The manager of the Karachi Press Club Safety Hub conducted a series of trainings for journalists on safety and security at the Karachi Press Club. He was also requested for similar trainings by the Council of Newspaper Editors (CPNE) for journalists of its member publications.
Quetta Press Club Safety Hub
- The manager of the Quetta Press Club Safety Hub participated in a protest in front of the press club of journalists of three television channels whose licenses were suspended by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.