Press Freedom in Pakistan
TEAM PAKISTAN Researcher,
Global Human Rights Defence.
Each May 3rd, the world celebrates the World Press Freedom Day. In Pakistan, however, journalists do not have much to celebrate as it stands in 150th place out of 180 in the Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) 2023 World Press Freedom Index. It did show some improvements since last year, but the freedom of media and free speech for journalists in the country is still very much restricted, and often under the control of the political and military elite (The News, 2023). The RSF’s report also stated that Pakistan is one of the “world’s deadliest countries for journalists” (The News, 2023). Censorship is used for any criticism of the ruling government and the armed forces, while for corruption and illegal trafficking cases, journalists are often murdered (The News, 2023). In addition, an independent national media watchdog documented around 140 cases of attack and violence against journalists and other media professionals in the period between May 2022 and March 2023 (Dawn, 2023). Between 2012 and 2022 the same watchdog reported that at least 53 journalists were murdered in the country, of which in only two cases there have been convictions (Syed Ali, 2023).
Sources and further readings:
Dawn. (2023, May 3). Press Freedom. Dawn. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://www.dawn.com/news/1750601
RSF. (n.d.). Pakistan. Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://rsf.org/en/country/pakistan
Syed Ali, N. (2023, May 3). Balochistan: A minefield for journalists. Dawn. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://www.dawn.com/news/1750509/balochistan-a-minefield-for-journalists
The News. (2023, May 3). RSF terms Pakistan one of 'world’s deadliest countries for journalists'. The News. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/1066626-rsf-terms-pakistan-one-of-worlds-deadliest-countries-for-journalists