Islamabad: To sensitize police regarding crimes against Journalists in Pakistan, Peace and Justice Network (PJN) arranged one-day Capacity Building Workshop (Recording and Reporting of crime against journalists, media workers, and online content writers) for Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police on Tuesday with the support Parliamentarians Commission for Human Rights and UNESCO.
The training was organized in Police headquarters where more than 40 police officials representing all the police stations participated in the sensitization session to enhance the capacity of police officials regarding recording and reporting of data of all crimes against journalists in Islamabad.
Chief executive of Parliamentarian Commission for Human Rights (PCHR) Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq while performing the sensitizing course told that crimes against journalists in Pakistan are increasing day by day but due to legislative and other gaps we haven’t categorized data of crimes against media workers in Pakistan, adding that we can only effectively lobby for legislation for the protection of journalists and media workers when we have proper data with us. He added that when a video of a crime against journalists goes viral on social media, it brings embarrassment to the country and portrays a negative image of the country on the international front because data generated from other sources are always fabricated and exaggerated and have no link with the ground realities. So we must verify and authentic data.
CEO Peace and Justice Network (PJN) Syed Raza Ali and lead national expert on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 told that Islamabad was the first city where this capacity building workshop of sensitizing police regarding recording and reporting of crimes against journalists was introduced as a pilot project and soon they will take this to other cities of the country. “We are in coordination with almost all the key departments, parliamentarians, and stakeholders including journalist unions and civil society for the protection of journalists, bloggers, and media workers”, he said.
While explaining the national reporting process as given in SDG 16.10.1 for recording and reporting a crime against journalists and media workers, Mr. Raza also highlighted its national importance and the key role the police have to play mainly to address low conviction rates.
Mr. Raza added that a major perception across the country was that journalists across the country are on threat and there is a need for immediate steps by the government and protection institutions. He added that as per the National Economic Council, collection of data on crime against journalists is a state priority. Also, now PJN is closely working for bringing legislation at national and provincial levels to address legislative gaps, he said.
“We have created a high-level working group to work on journalist protection at national assembly level as well as provincial assembly level and all the key human rights protection departments and ministries are part of these working groups” Raza added.
DIG Islamabad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan was the chief guest on the occasion and said that the police and media were interconnected and both professions were close to each other. DIG added that police should share data with the journalists because these are requirements of their profession and Islamabad police are performing very well. He added that Islamabad police will provide every assistance to journalists and policemen who performed well in the past and now the research organizations are endorsing that the crime rate in Islamabad is decreasing. He added that media always portrayed a negative image of the police but it should also report positive news about the police.
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