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ISLAMABAD (AP) - The media is facing growing censorship, attacks and harassment in Pakistan that are threatening freedom of the press, a committee of journalists said Monday.
But Pakistan has long been a dangerous place for journalists. There were 148 documented attacks or violations against journalists in Pakistan from May 2020 to April 2021 - an increase over previous years, according to The Dawn, the country’s English-language newspaper. It said these incidents included six murders, seven attempted assassinations, five kidnappings, 25 arrests or detentions of journalists, 15 assaults and 27 legal cases registered against journalists.
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In an editorial marking World Press Freedom Day, the paper said the space for journalists in Pakistan was shrinking, and “a media in chains cannot hold the powerful to account and serve public interest as it is meant to do”.
Pakistan has long been a deadly place for journalists. In 2020, it ranked ninth on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual Global Impunity Index, which assesses countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free. According to the CPJ, Bangladesh, Russia and India are ahead of Pakistan. Although the Pakistan government says it supports freedom of speech, rights activists often accuse Pakistan’s military and its agencies of harassing and attacking journalists.
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