KARACHI: International Press Institute (IPI) in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed his concern for the safety of six Pakistani journalists currently living in Europe and America.
IPI is a global network of leading editors, media executives and journalists working for press freedom.
IPI deputy director Scott Griffen wrote that the names of six journalists living in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States appeared in a “memo” – posted on social media channels – supposedly sent by an interior ministry official to a special assistant to information and broadcasting, the foreign ministry, the director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other defense ministry officials.
The memo said these people undermined Pakistan’s interests abroad.
It advised the foreign ministry and ISI to follow the movements and social media accounts of the six journalists and to approach them “through the right channels” to stop the rhetoric against the country.
IPI said if such a document accuses journalists of being involved in activities against the country, it would indeed be a very disturbing development, because it would show that the government was involved in monitoring and intimidating Pakistani journalists outside the country. .
“This means a serious violation of press freedom,” Griffen said.
In addition, the letter added, the appearance of documents on social media put the safety of these journalists, and their family members who were in Pakistan, in danger.
IPI urged the prime minister to take swift action to investigate this memo and end all harassment of Pakistani journalists living abroad. “The government must also take the steps necessary to protect the safety of the journalists on the list and also their families in Pakistan,” he added.
Published in Dawn, July 16, 2020
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