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2008: Not a good year for journalists in Pakistan

12 dead, 201 cases of reported abuse, 41 cases of assault, 74 journalists sustained injuries, 118 cases of intimidation and threats.

Intermedia, an independent NGO operating in Pakistan, has released a report on the state of the Pakistani media in 2008.

The report highlights the dangers journalists face on a daily basis whilst doing their jobs and details the mounting abuse journalists face who currently work in Pakistan.

Intermedia are advocates for freedom of speech and information within the Pakistani media. They also keep a close eye on any violations to media freedoms and any forms of abuse endured by journalists working in Pakistan.

The report (below) was also written up in The Frontier Post, a daily newspaper published in Peshawar and Quetta:

“ISLAMABAD: Attacks against media in Pakistan in 2008 reflected the general
trend of violence in the country with 12 journalists killed and over 201 cases of
abuses recorded against the media in the year, a new annual report on the
state of media reveals.

Three journalists each were killed in violence in Punjab and North West Frontier
Province, two each in Balochistan and Sindh and one each in Islamabad and
the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the research report produced by
Intermedia, a Pakistani media research and development non-governmental
organization, and released here Sunday, reveals.

A separate case was recorded of a journalist based in Punjab who committed
suicide because of financial problems.

The research report, available along with other annual media research reports
on, also recorded 13 cases of arrest or abduction in
which a total of 40 journalists were victims during the year. Of these, five
incidents were recorded in Sindh in which five journalists were arrested by law
enforcement agencies or abducted by unknown persons.

Similarly, 27 journalists were arrested or abducted in FATA in three incidents, five
journalists in two cases in Balochistan and one journalist each in single cases in
NWFP and Islamabad.

The research also recorded at least 41 cases of assault or injury in 2008 in which
at least 74 journalists sustained serious or minor injuries. Of these there were 27
victim journalists in 16 cases in Punjab, 12 journalists in five cases in Balochistan
and 12 journalists in eight cases in NWFP, five cases in Sindh and four cases in

At least 118 cases during 2008 were also recorded of intimidation and threats
reported by journalists. Of these 39 journalists belong to Punjab, 34 to Islamabad,
22 to Sindh, 10 to NWFP, nine to FATA and four to Balochistan.
The report also recorded four cases of attacks on media property, one each in
Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh and FATA.

A total of 20 cases were also recorded on ban on publications or gag orders by
the government authorities of which 10 were in Islamabad, four in Sindh, three in
Punjab and one each in NWFP, Balochistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
The Intermedia research report reveals that at least 208 cases of violations
against media in Pakistan occurred during 2008 and the most dangerous place
to practice journalism was Punjab with a total of 64 cases of violations against
media recorded in the province.

The next most dangerous place was Islamabad with a total of 51 cases of
violations against media based in the federal capital, 39 in Sindh, 22 in NWFP, 16
in FATA, 14 in Balochistan and one each in AJK and Northern Areas.

The statistics also reveal that during 2008, on an average every month one
journalist died, more than three were arrested or abducted, six were injured in
assaults, about 10 were threatened or intimidated, nearly two media
organizations were issued gag orders and overall more than 17 cases of
violations against the media occurred each month.”

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