In letter to PM Shehbaz President condemns ‘harassment of journalists’

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President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday penned a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the recent harassment of journalists and media persons, expressing his concern and calling for remedial action to be taken.

The President of Pakistan’s Twitter account shared the letter, saying that abhorrent pressure was being put on journalists for voicing their “independent opinion & criticism”. “Arrests, beatings [and] harassment, including cases of sedition, are designed to create fear & terror,” it added.

President Alvi said the recent incidents of violence against journalists reflected a mindset of “intolerance” that would have negative repercussions on democracy’s future and freedom of expression in the country. “Besides creating fear in Pakistan, & criticism”. “Arrests, beatings [and] harassment, including cases of sedition, are designed to create fear & terror,” it added.

President Alvi said the recent incidents of violence against journalists reflected a mindset of “intolerance” that would have negative repercussions on democracy’s future and freedom of expression in the country. “Besides creating fear in Pakistan,

such actions also come under international focus and tarnish the image of our country,” he added. Alvi said Pakistan stood at the 157th position in the Freedom of Press Index, 2022, and numerous international organisations had attributed “harassment, intimidation and physical violence against journalists as the main reasons for the dismal position of Pakistan in the said index”.

“Among those killed were Aziz Memon and Nazim Jokhio. Matiullah Jan was abducted in broad daylight from a busy area of Islamabad. Asad Ali Toor and Absar Alam were assaulted and injured by unidentified men. “Ayaz Amir was attacked, humiliated and bruised by unknown persons on the road during rush hours in the presence of many eyewitnesses in Lahore.

 

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