(PPF/IFEX) - At least 42 journalists have been killed in the line of duty in Pakistan in last 10 years and 29 of them were deliberately targeted and murdered because of their work. In 2011 alone, six journalists were killed in the country. For every journalist who has been deliberately targeted and murdered, there are many others who have been injured, threatened and coerced into silence.
Pakistani journalists are killed, unjustly detained, abducted, beaten and threatened by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, militants, tribal and feudal lords, as well as some political parties that claim to promote democracy and the rule of law. Sadly, the perpetrators of violence against journalists and media workers enjoy almost absolute impunity in Pakistan.
Of the 42 journalists killed in the line of duty during these 10 years, 11 were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, nine from Federally Administrated Tribal Agencies (FATA), eight each from Balochistan and Sindh, four from Punjab and two from the federal capital, Islamabad.
Of the 29 journalists murdered since the year 2002 because of their work, nine were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, six from Balochistan, five from FATA, six from Sindh, two from Punjab and one from Islamabad. Seventeen of them were shot; six targeted in suicide attacks, one killed in a bomb blast, while eight abducted before murder.
While formal criminal complaints (First Information Reports) were lodged, the murders of media workers were not seriously investigated or prosecuted. Over the last ten years, the murder of Daniel Pearl, reporter for the US-based Wall Street Journal, was the lone case of murder of journalist in Pakistan where suspects were prosecuted and convicted. This is why Pakistan is among the list of shame prepared by the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists of those countries that do not investigate and prosecute murders of journalists.
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