Target: President Mamnoon Hussain
Goal: Provide protection for journalists in Pakistan by prosecuting attackers
Pakistan is considered by many human rights groups to be the most dangerous place for journalists. For years, journalists have been targeted for their work and more than two dozen have lost their lives since 2008. Many attackers are not prosecuted and security forces have done little to protect journalists. Sign this petition and urge the president to grant protection for all media workers.
Since 2008, 38 journalists in Pakistan have lost their lives. Many journalists face threats from armed groups, like the Taliban, government intelligence agencies, and political parties. It makes their job exceedingly dangerous, and journalists face other threats in their line of work, like intimidation, harassment, abduction, torture, or assassination attempts. Any sensitive story can leave journalists in harm’s way, and some are not lucky or fortunate enough to leave the country.
Amnesty International was responsible for these findings, and also examined the Directorate for Inter-services Intelligence (ISI) who have military spies watch journalists, and listen to their phones. The agency has been involved in several abductions, torture, and killing of journalists, and unfortunately have never been held accountable for these actions.
Journalists are also not safe in the conflict-ridden regions, where the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and ethnic Baloch – all armed forces – threaten and even kill journalists. Despite laws that grant freedom of speech, so long as the speech doesn’t criticize the nation’s religion, journalists are not safe. Protections need to be immediately provided for all media workers and you can do so by signing this petition.
Dear President Mamnoon Hussain,
Pakistan allows freedom of speech, however your country is considered one of the most dangerous places a journalist can be. Their lives are on the line because your government, and armed groups often target them, especially when a sensitive story has been released. Despite having freedom of speech laws, there is no enforcement or punishment for those who harm others for their opinions. There has only been one recent case when an attacker was prosecuted for harming a journalist, everyone else has remained unpunished.
This information does not sit well with me. As a country who is supposed to support free speech, all of your media workers should have protection and security forces should do all they can to protect this precious right. I am writing to urge you to grant more protection for journalists and other media workers. If this means hiring more security forces for news agencies, or prosecuting those who attack journalists, then so be it. Humans should not be killed for what they publish.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: aopratt via deviantart