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Five Instances When Pak Govt Came Down on Its Journalists


First published: October 12, 2016, 11:47 AM IST | Updated: October 12, 2016
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Five Instances When Pak Govt Came Down on Its Journalists
TV grab of Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida's photo.

Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida, who had broken the story of a rift between the country’s political and military leadership on Tuesday, says he fears that the government is planning to take further'uglier actions'.

Following the publication of the story, the Pakistan government grounded the Dawn journalist by placing his name under the draconian Exit Control List (ECL) which bars him from travelling outside the country.

It is widely speculated that the government clamped down on him after he broke the story of a clandestine civilian-military meeting where Pakistan’s political leadership reportedly blamed the military and its support to non-state actors like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba for the increasing isolation of the country.

This is not the first time that the Pakistan government has come down heavily on those critical of its actions. There have been such crackdowns in the past too.

5 big crackdowns on media in Pakistan

Here is a list of five major crackdowns on the Pakistan journalists by their own government:

1999: Najam Sethi, Editor of The Friday Times, was arrested by ISI following an interview with BBC on government corruption and was detained for over a month.

2002: Rasheed Azam, a journalist and political activist from Khuzdar in southern Baluchistan province, was arrested on charges of sedition in August 2002 for publishing a photograph of Pakistani army personnel beating a crowd of Baluchi youth (Source: Human Rights Watch).

2003: Amir Mir, a journalist working for Karachi-based Herald magazine, was reportedly publicly threatened by President Musharraf (Source: Human Rights Watch).

2004: Khawar Mehdi Rizvi (Pakistani journalist) was arrested after an assignment with two French journalists making a film about the Taliban. He was accused of sedition and conspiracy.

2007: President Musharraf brought an ordinance in which authorities could seal the premises of broadcasters or distributors breaking the law and impose possible fines for violations from one million rupees ($16,665) to 10 million rupees ($166,650).

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