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CPNE Expresses Concern Over Assaults on Journalists, Press Freedom

CPNE Expresses Concern Over Assaults on Journalists, Press Freedom

The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has voiced its concerns over the increasing violence against journalists and the growing efforts to curb press freedom in the country. In a statement, the CPNE criticized both federal and provincial governments for delaying the release of advertisement dues to newspapers, resulting in journalists not receiving their salaries.

The CPNE highlighted that despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and opinion, journalists in Pakistan face abduction, arrest, and harassment based on their reporting. The government’s failure to provide protection to journalists has exacerbated the situation.

The CPNE mentioned its annual Media Freedom Report 2024, which reported the loss of lives of four journalists while on duty. The cases of these slain journalists remain pending in courts, with no progress in securing justice or arresting the perpetrators.

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Furthermore, the report detailed numerous incidents targeting journalists across the country, including physical attacks, torture, and arrests. The CPNE noted that journalists often face pressure and self-censorship from powerful entities, including the government, non-governmental organizations, and newspaper owners.The CPNE condemned the ban on internet services during the Feb 8 general elections, stating that it hindered media coverage and compromised press freedom.

Regarding advertisement dues, the CPNE highlighted the exploitation of tactics by caretaker and elected governments to delay payments to the print media, causing financial strain and difficulties in paying salaries to staff. While some progress was noted in certain provinces like Balochistan, the CPNE urged others to follow suit and demanded immediate clearance of advertisement dues by federal and provincial governments.

In conclusion, the CPNE reaffirmed its commitment to defending freedom of expression and press, promising to stand alongside working journalists and take legal measures to ensure their safety and welfare.