Pakistani journalists protest growing censorship


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Over 100 Pakistani journalists, editors, columnists, media persons from across the media landscape in the country have endorsed this statement since it was initiated on 19 April, protesting against the ongoing curbs on freedom of expression in the country. It follows on the heels of a statement signed by prominent academics including Noam Chomsky. Besides the stifling of debate at university campuses, articles are being pulled off media websites in Pakistan like Babar Sattar’s oped (published in this blog) as well as three other pieces in The News on Sunday this past weekend. Others were not published to begin with, like Mobashir Zaidi’s oped in The News, and Gul Bukhari’s article on 16 April that The Nation didn’t run (published in Naya Daur). Statement and list below.

Pakistani journalists, editors, media persons protest against ongoing censorship

We the undersigned journalists, editors, columnists and media persons, express our serious concern and condemn the ongoing curbs on freedom of expression in Pakistan.

Beginning with a crackdown against select media groups and banning the broadcast of various channels, there now is enhanced pressure on all media houses to refrain from covering certain rights based movements.

Media house managements under pressure are dropping regular op-ed columns and removing online editions of published articles. One media house even asked its anchors to stop live shows.

There is growing self censorship and increasingly, discussions on “given news” rather than real news, violating the citizens’ right to information.

These examples represent a fraction of the kind of censorship taking place across the country in different ways.

We strongly protest against all forms of censorship imposed on free media and freedom of information and stand united against it.

(Signed – alphabetical order)

  1. Abbas Nasir, former editor Dawn
  2. Abdul Sattar freelance journalist, Islamabad
  3. Adnan Rehmat, freelance journalist
  4. Afia Salam, freelance journalist, The News, Dawn
  5. Ahmed Noorani, reporter, The News
  6. Ailia Zehra. Assistant Editor, Daily Times
  7. Allah Bux Arisar, district correspondent daily Dawn and Dawn TV, Umerkot
  8. Annam Lodhi, journalist Media Matters For Democracy
  9. Annie Zaman, Global Voices
  10. Anwar Ali Arqam, Newsline magazine
  11. Asad Baig, founder, Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD)
  12. Asad Hashim, freelance journalist
  13. Alefia T. Hussain, Consulting Editor, The News on Sunday
  14. Ali Warsi, Associate Digital Editor, Daily Times
  15. Ammara Ahmad, freelance journalist
  16. Amber Rahim Shamsi, freelance journalist
  17. Asher John, Deputy Editor Pakistan Today
  18. Asma Shirazi, journalist and TV anchor Aaj News
  19. Azra Syed, freelance writer/journalist, former reporter with Reuters and The News
  20. Babar Sattar, columnist, The News
  21. Beena Sarwar, editor, Aman Ki Asha
  22. Bilal Farooqi, News Editor, The Express Tribune
  23. Farah Zia, editor, The News on Sunday
  24. Farhan Ahmad Khan, senior sub-editor, interviewer, Daily 92 News, Lahore
  25. Farieha Aziz, freelance journalist and co-founder Bolo Bhi
  26. Farooq Mehsud, TV journalist, Chief Editor Waziristan Times
  27. Fauzia Shahid, former Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)
  28. Hamid Mir, columnist and TV anchor
  29. Hamza Rao, Assistant editor, op-ed, Daily Times
  30. Haroon Rashid, editor BBC Urdu
  31. Hasan Khan, Editor at
  32. Husain Naqi, senior journalist and former editor Sajjan, The News, Jehd-e-Haq
  33. I.A. Rehman, former editor Pakistan Times
  34. Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General SAFMA
  35. Iqbal Khattak, freelance journalist and RSF Pakistan representative
  36. Irfan Husain, columnist Dawn
  37. Irfan Aslam, copy editor, Dawn
  38. Ishtiaq Mehsud, journalist, D. I. Khan
  39. Ismat Jabeen, freelance journalist
  40. Javed Aziz Khan, ex president Khyber Union of Journalists, senior reporter The News
  41. Jawad Zulfiqar, journalist, Pakistan Today
  42. Jugnu Mohsin, journalist, Managing Editor, The Friday Times
  43. Kamila Hyat, former editor, The News Lahore
  44. Kashan Akmal, News Anchor DBTV
  45. Kiran Nazish, independent journalist
  46. Khalid Hameed Farooqi, Europe correspondent, Geo TV
  47. Khurram Husain, Business Editor, Dawn
  48. Maham Javaid, assistant editor, The News on Sunday
  49. Manzoor Ali, reporter Dawn
  50. M. Ziauddin, former editor Express Tribune
  51. Marvi Sirmed, journalist, Daily Times
  52. Mehmal Sarfraz, journalist and producer Neo TV
  53. Miranda Husain, Deputy Managing Editor, Daily Times
  54. Khurram Baig, former City Editor, The News; former Sports Editor Dawn News; former Business Editor, The Express Tribune
  55. Mohsin Sayeed, freelance journalist
  56. Mona Kazim Shah, freelance journalist, correspondent DW
  57. Muhammad Salman Khan, sub-editor, Express Tribune
  58. Muna Khan, journalism lecturer, CEJ, Karachi
  59. Munir Pervaiz, oped writer Huffington Post, Urdu Times, Niazamana; former Board Member and Chair Writers in Exile Committee, PEN Canada
  60. Munizae Jahangir, journalist, Aaj TV
  61. Mureeb Mohmand Express Tribune Peshawar FATA
  62. Murtaza Solangi, journalist, TV anchor, former Director General Radio Pakistan
  63. Mustafa Nazir Ahmad, freelance journalist, The News International
  64. Naimat khan, Correspondent The Frontier Post & Arab News. Joint Secretary, Karachi Press Club
  65. Najam Sethi, Editor in Chief The Friday Times
  66. Nasir Zaidi, archivist, Jang Group (one of the journalists flogged in the Gen. Zia regime)
  67. Nasim Zehra, journalist, TV anchor Channel 24
  68. Naziha Syed Ali, assistant editor, Dawn
  69. Nida Tahseen, Editor Young Nation magazine (The Nation)
  70. Nighat Daad, media and censorship researcher
  71. Nosheen Abbas, freelance journalist
  72. Nusrat Javed, TV anchor, columnist
  73. Quatrina Hosain, independent journalist
  74. Rai Shahnawaz, TV reporter, Express News
  75. Rana Muhammad Azeem, president Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), editor Forum 92 News, Lahore
  76. Raza Rumi, editor, Daily Times
  77. Saadia Salahuddin, Assistant Editor, The News on Sunday
  78. Saba Eitizaz, journalist, CBC
  79. Sabahat Zakariya, Deputy Editor,  The News on Sunday
  80. Sadaf Baig, co-founder Media Matters for Democracy
  81. Sailab Mehsud, journalist, Mashal Radio
  82. Salman Haidar, poet, writer, freelance journalist
  83. Saleem Asmi, former editor Dawn
  84. Sajid Khan Lodhy, News Editor, Pakistan Today
  85. Shabana Mahfooz, freelance journalist
  86. Shah Meer Baloch, freelance journalist
  87. Shahzada Irfan Ahmed, Senior Reporter, The News on Sunday
  88. Shahzad Ahmad, Country Director, Bytes For All, Pakistan
  89. Shahzaib Walia, journalist, France 24
  90. Shahzeb Jillani, Senior Executive Editor, Dunya News
  91. Shamim Bano, freelance journalist, contributor, Express Tribune
  92. Sheen Farrukh, journalist, editor, Inter-Press Communication
  93. Shezad Baloch, freelance journalist, former correspondent Express Tribune, Balochistan
  94. Shujauddin Qureshi, freelance journalist, Karachi
  95. Sirmed Manzoor, freelance journalist
  96. Taha Siddiqui, journalist, France 24
  97. Tanzeela Mazhar, TV news anchor
  98. Tom Hussain, freelance journalist, South China Morning Post, The National, Nikkei Asian Review
  99. Umar Cheema, reporter, The News
  100. Umber Khairi, Producer, BBC Urdu Service
  101. Umer Ali, freelance journalist, Herald, News Deeply, Thomson Reuters
  102. Urooj Tarar, sub-editor, Daily Pakistan Global
  103. Wajid Ali Syed, journalist, Geo TV, Washington
  104. Waqas Habib Rana, associate digital editor Daily Times
  105. Waheed Ahmad, Deputy Editor Rast go daily
  106. Waseem Ahmad Shah, senior correspondent, Dawn Peshawar.
  107. Xari Jalil, reporter, Dawn
  108. Zahid Hussain, journalist and columnist, Dawn, Newsline
  109. Zebunnisa Burki, deputy editor oped, The News
  110. Zia Ur Rehman, reporter, The News, Karachi
  111. Zofeen T. Ebrahim, freelance journalist, IPS News, Dawn
  112. Zohra Yusuf, former editor, The Star Weekend, Herald Publications
  113. Zubeida Mustafa, former editor Books & Authors, Dawn


6 Responses

  1. This is Rai Shahnawaz Reporter at Express News. I pledge my solidarity with my community and stand against oppression.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pl add our names

    Liked by 2 people

  3. […] Pakistan,more than 80 media workers and rights advocates signed a statement on April 19 expressing their deep concern over the deterioration of media freedom in the country. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] less crucial than before. But censorship still violates the people’s right to know, as a statement endorsed by over 100 journalists in April emphasises. [, 6 May […]


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