Record number of journalists killed in Pakistan in 2024: The Guardian

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  • Six journalists killed in seven months, two in just three days in Pakistan
  • Citizen journalism has surged in Pakistan, driven by social media’s rise and restrictions on mainstream press

PESHAWAR,Pakistan – A report on the threats faced by journalists and journalism in Pakistan has been published in “The Guardian”, a prestigious British newspaper.

According to the report in The Guardian,In the first six months of 2024, seven journalists have been killed in Pakistan, marking a record annual number with half the year still remaining. The latest victim, Khalil Jibran, a former president of a local press club in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan, was ambushed and shot multiple times in June by two men.

Adil Jawad, who works for an organization investigating journalist killings, stated that at least four of the seven cases, involving both traditional journalists and citizen reporters, are likely work-related. These incidents primarily occurred in smaller towns and cities, where social media significantly amplifies the profiles of professional journalists and provides a platform for citizen reporters.

Kamran Dawar is one of the journalists killed. He died in May in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Photograph: X formerly Twiter
Kamran Dawar, one of the journalists killed this year, died in May in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Photograph: X (formerly Twitter) © X

Jawad emphasized the attacks are happening within a climate of “widespread impunity” for the perpetrators. The Freedom Network, advocating for press freedoms, reported that 53 journalists were killed because of their work between 2012 and 2022, yet only two cases led to convictions.

Citizen journalism has surged in Pakistan, driven by social media’s rise and restrictions on mainstream press. Ordinary citizens have stepped up to cover the deteriorating law and order situation and expose corruption among the ruling elite.

In late May, Nasrullah Gadani, a journalist known for holding local politicians, landowners, and feudal lords accountable, was killed in Sindh province’s Badin district, sparking widespread protests. His brother, Yaqoob Gadani, accused Khalid Lund, a local parliament member, of masterminding the murder, a claim Lund has denied. Just three days before Gadani’s death, Kamran Dawar, another journalist, was killed in North Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistan sees new record in journalist killings: six in seven months, two in three days

In response to these deaths, Anthony Bellanger, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, stated: “Journalists and media workers in Pakistan have a constitutional right to freedom of expression, but this is undermined by targeted attacks, assaults, and killings. Authorities must ensure that the media can work without fear of retribution and that these killings are subject to immediate, thorough, and transparent investigation.

Source:The Guardian

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