QUETTA: The Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) on Friday observed the martyrdom day of journalists in remembrance of those journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty during the last 12 years in the province.
A meeting was held in the Quetta Press Club to mark the day, which was presided over by president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Shahzada Zulfiqar.
Speakers paid tribute to deceased journalists.
Members of the BUJ staged a protest demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club. The participants were carrying placards and banners inscribed with their demands and chanting slogans in favour of their demands.
Mr Zulfiqar, BUJ president Ayub Tareen, general secretary Rasheed Baloch and president of the Quetta Press Club Raza-ur-Rehman spoke on the occasion. They said that over 45 journalists and media workers had lost their lives in incidents of targeted killing and suicide bombing in Balochistan. They said that 24 journalists, including former BUJ general secretary Irshad Mastoi, were among the deceased.
They deplored that despite repeated demand of the journalist fraternity no murderer of any journalist had been arrested so far.
They recalled that police had arrested a man and claimed that he was involved in the killing of Mr Mastoi and two others, but later reported that he was killed in an encounter with security forces while trying to escape. They demanded that an independent judicial commission be set up to conduct an inquiry into the killing of the journalists.
They said that the media was facing unannounced restrictions and pressures from the government and other quarters. However, he journalist fraternity would not compromise over freedom of press and expression.
The speakers suggested to the PFUJ that “journalists martyrdom day” should be observed across the country on August 28 every year.
Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2020