Pakistan: The Danger of Being a Journalist

by    /  June 16, 2011  / No comments

On June 11, eight journalists were wounded, and one, Abid Naveed, was killed. Photo:EPA/BILAWAL ARBAB

On June 11 in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, a small explosion went off in a restaurant bathroom. The damage was minimal, but journalists arrived at the scene regardless. Soon afterwards, a suicide bomber arrived on a motorcycle and detonated a much larger explosion which killed 34 people and wounded 100 others.

Eight journalists were wounded, and one, Abid Naveed, was killed. Naveed had survived an earlier attack in 2009 on the Peshawar Press Club.

The recent attack, one in a long series of violent acts against journalists, has caused several editors in the city to ask their journalists to work from home for their own safety. Many newspaper offices are currently closed while editors consider moving their offices elsewhere.

Reporters Without Borders is calling on the Pakistani government to protect journalists and support free speech. Pakistan is currently rated 151st out of 178 by Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom index. The organization fears that inaction on the part of the government will lead to self-censorship by journalists trying to protect themselves.

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