Media and Human Rights Activists Singled Out In Pakistan

Media staff is consistently being harassed and singled out by the Pakistani government for speaking out the truth. Women especially are feeling more harassed through social media attacks being made against them.

The fourth estate seems to be in complete jeopardy. There have been cases of offline and online violence against journalists and human rights defenders in Pakistan. This has been seen more against women and minorities. This was confirmed by the UN High Commission for Human Rights spokesperson Rupert Colville.

The UN High Commission is increasingly concerned about the treatment against women journalists and human rights activists. More worrisome are accusations of blasphemy that are labeling certain individuals and preventing them from fight for truth and justice in Pakistan.

There seems to be a coordinated campaign going around singling out women journalists and human rights activists.  One such journalist is Marvi Sirmed, who has been getting death threats, online gender based slurs and a volley o derogatory remarks as well.  In 2019, at least four journalists were killed while reporting over government undertakings.

It is important that the Pakistani government takes responsibility for such death of human rights and the freedom of the fourth estate.  We call on the leadership to unequivocally condemn incitement to violence against religious minorities and what appears to be an increase in the use of blasphemy laws for personal or political score-settling. We call on them to encourage respect for diversity of opinion.

UN High Commission for Human Rights spokesperson Rupert Colville.

Violence against media has been a well known crime in Turkey as well, that has recently become a strong ally of Pakistan. Freedom of speech is being throttled in many Islamic countries that would like to silence the people’s voice and dictate the government and country to their will. This also includes Iran that has been known to have cut down internet access in October last and was pushed by the US to reinstate the same.

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