Website launched to highlight violence against media in Pakistan

KARACHI: After the arrest of two dozen journalists, a collective forum of editors and news directors in Pakistan has launched a website to check the Imran khan-led government’s crackdown against the media.

According to Dawn, the team of Editors for Safety (EFS) in collaboration with the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) on Monday launched the Pakistan Journalists Memorial website on the eve of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, which is marked on November 2, at the Karachi Press Club.
EFS is a collective forum of editors and news directors representing a large number of newspapers, TV channels and online news portals that focuses exclusively on issues related to violence and threats of violence against the media in Pakistan.

According to Dawn, the online archive will provide a permanent, updated record of cases that capture the atrocities with which perpetrators of such violence operate.

Jahanzaib Haque, who designed the site (website has said that it was not the first memorial created by his team.

“The first one like it was about the Army Public School attack victims, information for which was not easy to gather because it was so painful. The next one was about the Quetta attack on lawyers in which we also lost journalists. Here, the PFF did most of the work, which was also not easy as it required sensitivity,” Dawn quoted Haque as saying.

“I don’t usually do the writing and edits for our website but for this particular site, I personally sat down to do all that. The data, the stories of each fallen journalist is horrifying, it affects you,” he said.

According to senior journalist Ghazala Fasih, the figures shared by PPF show that 76 journalists have been murdered since 2002, Dawn reported.

A report of the Freedom Network launched on the eve of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, said that nearly two dozen journalists in Pakistan were charged in the last two years and most of them were prosecuted under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), as per The News International.

Despite being a democratic state, Pakistan continues to suppress free speech in digital spaces, stopping its citizens from participating in the working of the state by depriving them of a resourceful channel for vocalising their concerns.

Report 2020 by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) says that the country performed poorly in all the indicators that determine free speech and that the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the digital censorship in Pakistan. (ANI)