United States Condemns Attacks on Journalists in Pakistan

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 19, 2014
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The United States condemns the vicious attack on television journalist Hamid Mir in Karachi today, the latest in a series of worrisome attacks on journalists in Pakistan. Freedom of the press, including ensuring that journalists can safely carry out their vital mission, is of paramount importance to freedom of expression and to the healthy functioning of any democracy. As Ambassador Olson powerfully said just recently, attacks like these should be a wake-up call to all who value democracy in Pakistan. We wish Hamid Mir a speedy recovery, and urge the Government of Pakistan to bring all those responsible for these attacks on the media to justice.
Meanwhile President Rural Media Network Pakistan Ehsan Ahmed Sehar has strongly condemned the attack on Hamid Mir and termed it a blow to the free and fair media in Pakistan.In a press statement he said that despite the much publicized announcement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that his government is setting up a media commission for safety and security of journalists in Pakistan, there is complete silence and no further action has been taken in this regard. Intimidations and threats to journalists from different groups are continued and media houses have been forced to ask their staff not to be harsh while criticizing militant and extremist groups.He added that Nawaz Sharif had assured in his meeting with head of the US based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) last month that “ I want to make Pakistan a journalist friendly country where not only national but international media should feel safe and respected.
President RMNP demanded of Pakistan government to constitute a high powered commission giving representation of senior journalists in it and should immediately arrest the criminals behind attacks on media persons.He said that Nawaz government; should take immediate steps to ensure safety of journalists and security of media houses; and hould not compromise on freedom of expression and media at any cost. Ehsan Ahmed Sehar also paryed for early recovery of injured TV anchor Hamid Mir and expressed his solidarity with him in this time of tragedy.

Source. US Department of State /RMNP


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