Journalist receives life threats

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Imtiaz Alam, journalist and television anchor of “Express News” received death threats in the night of April 3, 2014 in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. He is also the editor of quarterly South Asian Journal and secretary general of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA). No one has claimed the responsibility of threats.

Alam was on his way to home along with his driver when his driver received a call from unknown number in which the caller gave serious life threats to Alam and his family. His name was also on the top of the hit list of militants where Raza Rumi’s name was on second number. The list was issued by the Punjab government to all media houses. Militants group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was probably behind the threats, said Alam.

Condemning the attack, journalists and representatives of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) expressed deep concerns over death threats given to Alam and said that intolerance for diverse points of views had a bearing on media freedom and quality journalism. They said that edicts and threats continue to be hurled at the media and media persons, among them Alam.

In a statement, representatives of media organisations said “The targeted attacks and death threats are meant to create fear among the democratic intelligentsia and the media persons. It is more disturbing that the state is failing in its responsibility to protect citizens and its writ.”

“We urge the media associations to take joint stand on acts of violation of and threats to media rights and freedom of expression. Attack on one should be taken as an attack on all. It’s time that the state and the government of Pakistan fulfilled their responsibility to their citizens protecting their fundamental rights of freedom of information and freedom of expression guaranteed in the constitution.”

Pakistan Press Foundation

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