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15 journalists killed in Pak in a year in line of duty
Posted on: 02-05-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

 These findings are part of the annual 'State of the Media in Pakistan' report produced by Intermedia, a media development and research organisation based in Islamabad. The report authored by media analyst Adnan Rehmat details violations against the media.

The report, released today ahead of International Press Freedom Day on May 3, revealed that media, like other socio- economic groups in the country, paid a heavy price for the war against terror on Pakistani territory in the past 12 months.

Five of the 15 journalists killed in the line of duty died in suicide bombings or were killed by either security forces or militants. Of these, six were from Punjab, five from North West Frontier Province, two from Sindh and one each from Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Separately, another journalist committed suicide in Pakistan over the non-payment of salary.

During the period in review, there were 11 recorded instances of 35 journalists either being arrested by security forces or kidnapped by unknown persons or militant groups. Of these, 27 were either arrested or kidnapped in three incidents in tribal area, three in Sindh, two each in cases in NWFP and Punjab and one in Islamabad.

The study also revealed that 61 journalists were assaulted and injured in 35 separate incidents in the same period. Of these, 29 were injured in Punjab, 14 in NWFP, six in Sindh, four in Islamabad and one in the tribal belt.

A total of 104 cases of intimidation or threats to journalists and media organisations in Pakistan were recorded in the past 12 months. Of these, 36 cases were recorded in Punjab, 33 in Islamabad, 12 in NWFP, 11 in Sindh, eight in the tribal areas and four in Balochistan.

There were also 11 cases of attacks on media properties in the tribal areas, Islamabad, Punjab, NWFP, Northern Areas and Balochistan. There were also 22 recorded instances of forced censorship or gag orders during this period, including eight in Islamabad, six in Punjab, four in Sindh and one each in NWFP, Balochistan, tribal belt and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

In all, there were 248 reported cases of violations against the media in Pakistan between May 3 last year and May 3 this year. The violations included killings, arrests, kidnappings, assaults, injuries, intimidation, threats and attacks on media properties.

The statistics revealed Punjab was the most dangerous place to practice journalism in Pakistan with 81 of the 247 cases of violations while Islamabad was second with 48 incidents. The tribal areas were the third most dangerous place with 41 cases and NWFP fourth with 36 cases.

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