Pakistan drops 12 points in 2022 World Press Freedom Index Global Voices Français

Screenshot of the cover page of the Freedom Network’s 2021-2022 State of Press Freedom Annual Report. Fair use.

On the occasion of world press freedom dayindependent media and civil liberties organization based in Pakistan Freedom Network released a report which revealed that journalists in Pakistan were mainly targeted by state actors over the past year (May 2021 to April 2022) during the Imran Khan government, resulting in violence, prosecution, kidnapping, detention and threats. Pakistan also recorded a sharp decline of 12 points in World Press Freedom Index 2022.

According to the report, 86 cases of attacks on journalists across Pakistan. The highest number of attacks – 32 – were checked in in the territory of the capital, Islamabad; Sindh Province comes second with 23 attacks against journalists.

The report also mentions the highest number of attacks were carried out on the houses of journalists, while two journalists were killed.

The report also listing that state actors and officials targeted journalists the most in Pakistan – 35 cases. most targeted media was television (39 cases), followed by the written press (35 cases).

Sharp drop in the World Press Freedom Index

According to 2o22 World Press Freedom Index report, Pakistan dropped 12 points in the index, falling from a rank of 145 in 2021 to 157 in 2022.

Writer Madiha Afzal documents how Pakistan and a number of South Asian countries rank at the bottom of the press freedom list.

Many social media outlets have highlighted this decline in press freedom in Pakistan.

Journalist Waleed Tariq highlighted the decline:

Motivational speaker Shafique Khan tweeted:

The new prime minister Shehbaz Sharif also condemned Imran Khan’s legacy on Twitter:

The reports are contrary to what former Prime Minister Imran Khan said in his speeches regarding the free press. In one of his statements in September 2021, he said, “The media enjoyed ‘more freedom than ever’ under the PTI government.” In another statement on March 1, 2022, he accused a section of the media that criticized his policies of having hand in hand with the mafiaindirectly pointing to other political parties.

However, during Imran Khan’s tenure, female journalists were harassed, threatened and subjected to severe online abuse. In 2020, some female journalists also meet Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and former Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights Bilawal Bhuto register their complaint.

Archen Baloch, a journalist from Balochistan tweeted:

You can download the Pakistan Press Freedom Report 2021-2022 by Freedom Network from here.

Comments are closed.