Seven Threat Cases Reported Against Journalists

FN Threat Data Analysis – September 2022

Four journalists faced offline harassment, one was detained and one journalist received verbal threats, as a total of seven various cases of threats, attacks and harassment against journalists and media organizations were monitored and documented during September 2022 through the Pakistan Press Club Safety Hubs Network programme, an award-winning civil liberty organisation Freedom Network is managing since 2016.

Award-winning Islamabad-based Freedom Network is assisting journalists at risks in five different categories, including humanitarian assistance, in partnership with five press clubs in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Islamabad, and Peshawar and Women Journalists Association of Pakistan, Digital Media Alliance of Pakistan (DigiMAP) and one for minority journalists, under Pakistan Press Club Safety Hub Network programme since February 2016.

DETAINED: On September 29, 2022, senior cameraperson of Aaj News channel Malik Adil and correspondent Kashan Awan were busy making a report for the channel outside Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar, when hospital administration threatened the journalists with dire consequences, took their gadgets and stopped from performing professional duties. The hospital administration also detained both journalists, who were later released after the intervention of the Aaj News channel administration.

OFFLINE HARASSMENT: Tw Islamabad-based photojournalists – Medi Ghauri of Online News Agency and Raja Imran of Daily Zikar-e-Jahan, went to cover the election of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce on September 21, 2022. During the coverage, a guard of Shaheen Chemist’s owner Sheikh Dawood barred them from taking images. When they continued taking shots the guard snatched cameras from them. The issue was later resolved after the intervention of the president of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Photojournalist Association.

On September 25, 2022, Murtaza Roy, an AbbTak News channel’s reporter, and his cameraman Qazi Kamal went to cover a seminar organized by a housing society in Islamabad. Despite having invitation cards, the hotel guards thrashed them and refused to let them in. The media organization condemned this action but no action was taken against the guards.

THREATS VERBAL: Faisal Shahzad Sahi, reporter working for Public News channel, received life threats on September, 28 2022 when he highlighted administrative issues and the problems faced by the residents of a housing society in Islamabad. The journalists’ union demanded of police to take action against threats hurled at the journalist but no FIR was registered against the society.

 PEMRA in Action

PEMRA issued an order to block BOL News Network because its entertainment channel lacked security clearance. On September 15, PEMRA suspended the transmission of ARY News and BOL News for three days for failing to follow PEMRA directives prohibiting all channels from live broadcast of public events involving former prime minister Imran Khan.

Threats, Attacks, and Harassment against Various Types of Media:

Five electronic, one print, and one online news agency journalist faced threats during September 2022.

Threat Actors Attacking and Harassing Journalists and Media:

In all the seven threat and harassment cases, threat actors involved were private security guards.

Caption: A TV grab shows Aaj News channel’s journalists who were harassed by public sector hospital’s guards in Peshawar.

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