The Board of the World Association of Newspapers, meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, on 15 December 2008, strongly condemns the increasing violence facing journalists in Pakistan, particularly in the regions bordering Afghanistan and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
According to reports, seven journalists have been killed in Pakistan since the beginning of the year and many have fled tribal areas in fear for their lives. Journalists have been victims of violence from all sides involved in the conflict, including Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters, and Pakistani air strikes.
WAN is appalled by the recent wave of murders of journalists. Qari Mohammad Shoaib, a reporter for the daily newspapers Azadi and Khabar Kar, Abdul Razzak Johra, a reporter with the Royal TV network, Abdul Aziz Shaheen, a reporter with the local Urdu-language daily Azadi, Mohammad Azim Leghari, reporter at the newspaper Halchal,
Mohammed Ibrahim, journalist for Express TV and Daily Express, Siraj Uddin, journalist at The Nation and Chishti Mujahid, photojournalist and columnist with the weekly Akhbar-e-Jehan have been killed in the line of duty over the past 10 months.
The Board of WAN urges the Pakistani authorities to take all necessary measures to end the violence against journalists and the impunity enjoyed by those who order and carry out their execution, to secure a safer environment for journalists and commit to uphold international standards of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.