World press freedom day observed, police clashes with journalists in Islamabad

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ISLAMABAD (ENN) World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) was observed in Pakistan on Thursday as to extend support to media freedom and safety and security of journalists.

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

According to reports Islamabad Police clashed with journalists participating in a rally to mark World Press Freedom Day here in Islamabad.

The police stopped the rally at D Chowk and was not allowing journalists to march towards the Parliament which led to the clash.

The participants of the rally which included journalists from various news organisations, including foreign news agencies, and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) were marching towards the Parliament to present their charter of demands. Journalists gave sit in after the clash.

While Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the incident and has sought report on it.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has taken a serious view of the sharp decline in press freedom in the country over the last several months, which has coincided with the emergence of a strong grassroots movement in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In a statement issued to mark World Press Freedom Day, HRCP has censured the recent escalation in press harassment and intimidation, and attempts to curb people’s freedom of expression and their access to information.

On World Press Freedom Day, Pakistan needs to take stock and seriously consider the repercussions of attempting to gag its press when it needs the latter most.

PFUJ and Sukkur Union of Journalists observed the day led by Lala Asad Pathan, Javed Memon and others. While different media development organizations released reports and held the event to mark the day.

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