Press freedom organization Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) joins Alliance for Access, a nationwide coalition of civil society organizations, corporations, media houses, telecommunication companies, academics, and student groups to promote open access in Pakistan, in condemning the attack on Express News office in Karachi. This is the second attack on the Express media offices in four months. Express News Group has been consistently under threat and the attack follows a threatening statement from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan against media groups and journalists in Pakistan.
Express Media is an integral part of the Alliance for Access with their strong commitment & support for freedom of expression and speech in Pakistan, and we appalled and disappointed by the lack of security provided to the Express group office in Karachi, despite being under constant threat. Journalists affiliated with the Express Tribune and those on the site have reported that the police van usually present at site had been removed a few weeks ago. This is an attack on independent and progressive reporting in Pakistan.
According to Committee for Protection of Journalists, 53 journalist have been killed in direct relation to their work since CPJ began keeping records in 1992. Pakistan is on the eighth spot in the CPJ’s 2013 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered regularly and killers go free.
International human rights community have urged the government to commit to end impunity and make public their commitment to free media and safety of journalists across the country.The attack on Express media group comes as a bleak reminder of the dangers and threats journalists face simply for doing their job. The state must take immediate action to fulfil its commitment to protect civilians, especially those on frontlines.
Aurat Foundation, Bolo Bhi, Baanhn Beli, Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ),Civic Action Resources, Institute for Research Advocacy & Development (IRADA), Centre For Governance & Public Accountability (CGPA), Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), Freedom Network Peshawar, Individual Land, Punjab Lok Sujag & Sustainable Educational & Environmental Development Balochistan (SEED), & SHEHRI.
Alliance for Access is an initiative of Bolo Bhi, a research focused advocacy group for policy change, with the dual goals of promoting open access and protecting fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of expression. an initiative of Bolo Bhi, a research-backed advocacy group for policy change, with the dual goals of promoting access and protecting fundamental rights, as mandated under the constitution, particularly in the digital and Internet space.