ISLAMABAD: Over 100 journalists from around the world have expressed their concerns over “an alarming surge in attacks on journalists in Pakistan” and urged the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government to end impunity and take action against those who are attacking, harassing and intimidating journalists.

The concern was shown by Harvard-educated journalists from across the world through a statement signed by 107 fellows from Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, says a message received from Boston city of the US on Sunday.

“An alarming surge in attacks on journalists in Pakistan has shocked the media community in the country and caused concern among journalists everywhere,” the statement said.

The Harvard fellows have particularly highlighted the recent attacks on senior journalist Absar Alam and vlogger Asad Toor and kidnapping of Matiullah Jan in Islamabad.

“These are just a few incidents over the past year alone. Rights bodies have documented several instances of journalists being attacked, tortured, killed and disappeared in Pakistan in the recent past and called for the government to take action,” the statement added.

The journalists said: “We urge the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to arrest and prosecute the criminals involved in these attacks and kidnappings. The government of Pakistan must ensure the safety of all journalists and eliminate this culture of impunity that has rendered Pakistan one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.”

The signatory journalists from the US, the UK, Canada, Pakistan and other countries are Owais Aslam Ali, secretary general Pakistan Press Foundation; Bill Kovach, Robert Giles, Ann Marie Lipinski, Zawwar Hasan, Philip Meyer, Alvin Shuster, Beena Sarwar, Nirupama Subramanian, Claudia Antunes, Chris Cobler, Altin Raxhimi, Taghreed El Khodary, Kim Cloete, Margaret Kriz Hobson, Bert Lindler, Vidya Krishnan, Jeb Sharp, Yasmin Amer, Kitty Eisele, Bukola Adebayo, Rema Nagarajan, Amber Payne, Ines Pohl, Elaine Díaz Rodríguez, Laura Eggertson, Melissa Ludtke, Anita Harris, Gaiutra Bahadur, Kalpana Jain, Liz Mineo, Ignacio Gómez, Lois Fiore, Stefanie Friedhoff, Phillip Martin, Martha Bebinger, Subina Shrestha, Darcy Frey, Nathan Payne, Indira Lakshmanan, Santiago Lyon, Ashwaq Masoodi, Andras Petho, Stefan Candea, Michael Fitzgerald, Gary Knight, Selymar Colón, Doug Struck, Joshua Benton, Robert Chaney, Helen Branswell, Shalini Singh, Brent Walth and others.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2021

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