PESHAWAR: Paris-based global media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) jointly held six safety-training sessions for over 90 journalists.

Pakistan was the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the second year running in 2011. Ten journalists were killed in the country last year, three of them in the tribal areas in the northwest of the country. A total of 11 journalists from the tribal areas have been killed since 2005. To respond to the dangers, Reporters Without Borders and its Peshawar-based partner organisation TUJ organised a series of safety-training sessions for local journalists in the latter part of 2011, the Paris-based organisation said Wednesday in a press statement.

Reporters from Khyber, Kurram, Bajaur, Orakzai, Mohmand, North Waziristan and South Waziristan attended the six one-day sessions that were held at the TUJ’s headquarters from November 1 to December 4.

Led by Reporters Without Borders representative in Pakistan, Iqbal Khattak, the sessions also provided instruction in first-aid techniques, methods for preventing and evaluating risks, and the attitude to adopt towards one’s kidnappers in the event of abduction. A copy of the Reporters Without Borders Handbook for Journalists, in Urdu, will also be given to all participants, thanks to the support of UNESCO Islamabad. “The eyes of the entire world are turned to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and the media do not want to miss the events taking place there,” Khattak said.

“The local journalists are the only ones capable of covering the news in this region. Nonetheless, many of them are not sufficiently trained in dealing with the risks to which they are exposed,” Khattak added.

Originally published here.

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