Female journalist attacked covering anti government rally in Faisalabad

RMNP has expressed its deep concern over the growing number of
attacks against female journalists in Pakistan in recent months. On
December 8, a female journalist Maria Memon was attacked covering a
political rally in Faisalabad, in Punjab province , Pakistan, the
third attack on a female journalist since August this year.
According to reports Geo News anchor, Maria Memon, was attacked as she
covered the political rally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).During
the rally, clashes broke out between PTI supporters and those of the
ruling party , Pakistan Muslim league (Nawaz) (PML-N). At first Memon
was verbally assaulted, however the attack escalated when she and her
producer were hit by a bottle of water, followed by a number of empty
bottles. Memon was then attacked with sticks as she sat atop of a
Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) van.
Memon said about the attack: “I don’t know why they focused on us as
there was no provocation on our part. And as usual while covering
rallies, I had taken great care of what I was wearing as not to offend
anyone. Remembering the incidents that colleagues have faced, we had
parked in a relatively safe spot aware from the crowd near the clock
tower in Faisalabad.”
Memon was forced to end her reporting prematurely due to safety concerns.
“I am shaken for now but no serious damage done. I will go back into
the field. Such incidents will not make women stay at home in fear. It
is part of the job” said Maria Memon.
This is not the first incident of attacks against female journalists.
In August and September this year, during extensive political protests
across Pakistan, Farhat Jawad and Amna Amir from Geo News were
attacked by PTI workers in Islamabad. Jawad had to take refuge in a
DSNG van of another channel as political workers tried to attack her.
They broadcasted her name and station, encouraging others to also
attack her. Luckily, Jawad managed to escape physically unharmed. Amir
however was wrangled by political workers to stop her reporting of the
event. When she refused she received a number of death threats.
Mean while The IFJ Asia Pacific office said: “Female journalists
continue to face a number of obstacles and attacks like these further
discourage their involvement in the media industry. Since August,
media workers across Pakistan have been subjected to attacks as they
cover political protests, being attacked for simply doing their jobs.”
The IFJ calls on the Pakistan government, authorities and political
parties to support the media and immediately investigate these attacks
that weaken Pakistan’s media industry.
Source: RMNP/IFJ

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