Media houses urged to ensure safety of journalists
26 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Lawyers and journalists have urged the legal aid committees of bar councils and bar associations to play more active role for the protection of human rights and take effective action to ensure safety of journalists in Pakistan.
In a two-day consultation on 'Combating Impunity: Defending Pakistani Media and Journalists and Devising Legal Mechanisms to Defend Journalists' organised by Inter-media Pakistan in conjunction with Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) at a local hotel, the participants said that journalists played a special role in society as providers of information on matters of public interest and to guarantee their safety "is inextricably linked to the universal, inalienable right to freedom of expression and press freedom".
Press Council of Pakistan Chairman Raja Shafqat Abbasi, while speaking on the occasion, said that media houses needed to ensure a safe environment for journalists so that they could perform their work independently and without any interference.
He also said that media houses should ensure job security and provide journalists with basic trainings, especially to those working in conflict areas like Balochistan and KP.
Abbasi called for an end to impunity for the killers of journalists and urged security agencies to let the journalists work independently. "The Saleem Shahzad commission report had empowered us to receive complaints against agencies as well, and if any complaint is received, PCP will act accordingly against security forces."
The participants stressed the need for making legislations for the protection of journalists.