By Pak Voices

Pakistan has been ranked 139th out of 180 countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index maintained by the Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Freedom Network, a Pakistani media rights organization, released its report today on the state of impunity against journalists in Pakistan. The report looks at the select cases of journalists killings and finds that the impunity goes on without any check.

So far, at least four journalists have been killed in the line of duty this year but many others have survived lethal attacks due to their work.

Here is the timeline of 2017 attacks on the journalists and bloggers in Pakistan:


1- Ahmad Noorani

Ahmed Noorani, The News. Image Source: PakVoices

When: October 27

Where: Zero Point, Islamabad

Who: Ahmad Noorani, Investigative Reporter, The News, Jang Group

What: In a broad daylight, he was intercepted near Zero Point, in the heart of Islamabad, and pursued by six men who beat him badly, leaving him badly injured.

He is out of danger but developed a blood clot on his head, doctors said after his CT scan report.

Earlier this month, the journalist also quit using Twitter following threats for his investigative reporting and social media activism.

Why: He had aired views critical of Pakistan army and government as well. The motive of the attack is still unconfirmed.

Case: FIR registered against unknown assailants. The government also formed a committee to trace the perpetrators.

2- Matiullah Jan

Image Source: Facebook

When: September 24

Where: Bhara Kahu, Islamabad

Who: Matiullah Jan, Anchorperson, Waqat TV

What: His car came under attack on Sunday afternoon when two unknown men hurled a brick at him, smashing his windscreen, but he remained unhurt. The journalist’s children were also inside the car at the time of the attack.

Why: Motive unconfirmed

Case: FIR registered against unknown attackers.

3-Rana Tanveer

Rana Tanveer. Photo Source: Facebook

When: June 9

Where: Lahore

Who: Rana Tanveer, Reporter, Express Tribune

What: His motorcycle was run over by a car following threats for his reporting on the issues of minorities, which left him with a broken leg.

On May 30, a death threat had been written on his door for covering stories on minorities.

Why: For work

Case: Lahore’s Charah Police Station registered FIR against unknown suspects.

4- Azaz Syed

Azaz Syed, Geo News. Image Source: Facebook

When: June 3

Where: Park Road, Near Banigala, Islamabad

Who: Azaz Syed, Senior Correspondent, Geo News

What: He narrowly escaped a kidnapping attempt when his car was intercepted on the Park Road near Bani Gala by unknown men in a car and a motorcycle. Sensing danger the journalist, Syed sped away from the scene towards Taramri Chowk and managed to arrive at the Shahzad Town Police Station.

His house had also been attacked in 2010.

Why: Motive Unconfirmed

Case: FIR registered against unidentified men.

5- Taha Siddiqui

Taha Siddiqui.

When: May 18

Where: Islamabad

Who: Taha Siddiqui, Bureau Chief, World is One News

What: He received a threatening call from Noman Bodla, the officer of the counter-terrorism wing of Federal Investigation Agency, ordering him to appear at FIA headquarters for interrogations. He was told that the interrogation is linked to his professional work.

On May 22, Siddiqui filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court, saying that the FIA had threatened and harassed him on the phone.

On May 24, the court restrained FIA from harassing the petitioner, Siddiqui.

On July 6, FIA official Noman Bodla informed the court that Siddiqui case had been shifted to the Cybercrime wing of FIA.

FIA had made a list of dozens of suspect social media activists who had been critical of the armed forces, following orders of the then interior minister Chaudhry Nisar after he took notice of online criticism of the army.

Why: For work

Case: Waiting for a date to be set for hearing by the court.

Taimoor Abbas:

Taimoor Abbas body. Photo Source: Aljazeera

When: February 12

Where: Karachi

Who: Taimoor Abbas, Cameraman, Samaa TV

What: Abbas, 22, was killed while covering the aftermath of a grenade attack on a police vehicle in Karachi. Khan was fatally shot in the head and succumbed to injuries while being treated in nearby hospital.

Tehreek Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for both attacks on the police and Samaa TV van.

Abbas was a promising video journalist who had just begun his career with Samaa almost two years ago. He was the sole breadwinner in his family.

Case: Perpetrators are still at large.

7- Salman Haider:

Clockwise from left: Salman Haider, Ahmed Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed. Image Source: Facebook

When: January 6

Where: Islamabad

Who: Blogger, Poet, Professor, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

What: Five bloggers were abducted on January 5 this year. Salman Haider was one of them. He returned home more than 20 days after he disappeared in the capital Islamabad.

Why: No group has claimed responsibility for holding him and other bloggers. But he had been critical of the military and militancy on social media.

Case: FIR was registered against unknown kidnappers.

8-Asim Saeed:

When: January 4

Where: Lahore

Who: Blogger, Social media activist

What: Asim Saeed is one of the five liberal social media activists who went missing in January this year before being set free after several weeks.

Following his recovery, he has moved to the Britain and applied for asylum there.

In a recent interview with BBC, Saeed opened up for the first time, alleging the powerful Pakistani military for torturing him.

Why: He had been accused of running a Facebook page Mochi, which was at the center of the controversy. He also aired views critical of the military or militancy.

Case: FIR was registered against unknown abductors.

9- Ahmed Waqas Goraya:

 When: January 4

Where: Lahore

Who: Blogger, Social Media Activist

What: He is one of the five bloggers who went missing earlier this year before being released after several weeks.

Critics and his supporters accused Pakistan military of involvement in his abduction. But the military has denied the allegations.

After his return, he moved to Netherlands. Like Asim Saeed, he had also accused Pakistan military of torturing him during his detention.

Why: During his disappearance, he had been accused of managing a Facebook page, Bhensa as the screenshots of the page made it look controversial.

Case: FIR was registered against unknown abductors.


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