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Major international and national media support groups attending international conference on impunity against Pakistani journalists

 

International Conference on Promoting Safety of Journalists and

UN Action Plan on Impunity – Islamabad, March 6-7  2013

PRESS RELEASE

 ISLAMABAD (March 5, 2013): A two-day international conference begins in Islamabad on March 6 (Wednesday) at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad to highlight and raise awareness about a new UN Action Plan Against Impunity in five pilot countries, including Pakistan, with the objective of building the country’s capacity to deal with safety of journalists and impunity issues and to highlight the issue of 90 Pakistani journalists killed in recent years. Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira is scheduled to inaugurate the conference.

The UN Plan of Action is expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks in Pakistan and is aimed at lending international support for action against impunity, including strengthening efforts led by both governments and the media sector and facilitating greater multi-stakeholder collaboration.

The international conference will be conducted by Intermedia Pakistan, a national media support and development group – with support from Foundation Open Society Foundation-Pakistan (OSF), International Media Support (IMS) and United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Attending the conference will be key international media support groups such as Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI), Article IX, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Freedom House (FH), International News Safety Institute (INSI), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), International Media Support (IMS), UNESCO, International Press Institute (IPI), Internews Network, International Federation of Freedom of Expression (IFEX), Amnesty International (AI), World Association of Newspapers (WAN), Freedom of the Press Foundation (FLIP), Fojo Institute, etc.

Attending the conference will be a variety of Pakistani representative associations of media workers, owners and professionals and media defence groups such as Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Pakistan Council of Newspaper Editors (CPNE), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Radio Broadcasters Association (RBA), Pakistan News Agencies Council (PNAC), among others; the government; security agencies and civil society representatives, etc.

The conference will aim to establish two alliances – a “Pakistan Alliance of Media on Safety” and an “International Friends of Pakistan Media on Safety” – by linking up media defence groups from Pakistan with their key international level counterparts to facilitate networking on solutions and ideas as well as inflow of international support, advocacy expertise and technical assistance for Pakistan’s media.

The international conference seeks to bring together all key stakeholders from within Pakistan and key international media defence groups to discuss ways of combating the violence against media and journalists in the country and what best lessons from the world Pakistan can partly adopt.

Over 90 journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 2000 and at least 70 journalists in the last five years alone and hundreds attacked, injured, kidnapped, arrested and intimidated in a variety of ways. From 2007 to 2013 the average of journalists killed every year is 13 – one every 28 days. There has been no prosecution and conviction of any attacker – the prevalence of impunity is huge. Despite recent efforts by a variety of actors to combat this trend, the scale of impunity hasn’t been dented. 

The international conference aims to build on local efforts to raise the public profile of impunity against journalists by bringing together all key stakeholders from within Pakistan and key international media defence groups to discuss ways of combating the violence against media and journalists in the country and what best lessons from the world Pakistan can partly adopt.

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