National Journalist Body To Observe 'Black Day' On November 30 Over Impunity Of Crimes Against Journalists

PFUJ announces second phase of protest, plans to stage an indefinite sit-in outside Sindh CM House in Karachi

National Journalist Body To Observe 'Black Day' On November 30 Over Impunity Of Crimes Against Journalists

The national body of journalists has decided to observe November 30 as "Black Day" over the impunity of crimes against journalists in the country, in particular over the unresolved murder of KTN's Sukkur Bureau Chief Jan Mohammad Mehr. 

They plan to ultimately expand that observance into a decisive and indefinite 'sit-in' outside the Sindh Chief Minister House in Karachi until Mehr's murderers are apprehended.

This was decided during a meeting of the Action Committee of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Sindh chapter the other day. The meeting was presided by the Action Committee chairman. It was attended, among others, by PFUJ President Afzal Butt and PFUJ Secretary General Arshad Ansari.

In a press statement issued after the meeting, the committee expressed concerns over delays in arresting the suspect. The committee decided to continue their movement until the arrest of the main suspects involved in the murder of Mehr.

Announcing the second phase of their movement, the committee said that a countrywide 'Black Day' will be observed on November 30.

The committee appealed to all journalist unions and press clubs nationwide to participate and hoist black flags on all the clubs and union offices on November 30 to express solidarity.

It will be followed by the All Sindh Journalists Convention in Hyderabad on December 10. Another version of the convention will be held in Sukkur, details of which will be finalised during the Hyderabad convention.

After the Sukkur Convention, the PFUJ decided it would issue a countrywide call for a decisive and indefinite 'sit-in' outside the CM House until the main suspect in Jan Mohammad Mehr's murder is arrested.

A journalist's 'march to Karachi' is also likely to be announced.

Earlier, the meeting lauded the large participation of journalists from across Sindh in a rally from Karachi Press Club to the CM House in a token protest. It also thanked media stakeholders and bodies, Bar Associations, trade unions and civil society for their support and participation in the rally on Monday.

Protest demonstrations were also held in different parts of the country, including Islamabad, Quetta, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, and Gujranwala, and the committee thanked all the journalist unions for their active participation in the protest. 

The action committee has urged Sindh's Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retired) Maqbool  Baqar, the provincial home minister, the police chief and other investigating agencies to fulfil their commitment and apprehend the culprit who, they said, has already confessed the crime via a video message.

"Government's failure to arrest him (suspect) raised serious questions about its capacity to maintain law and order in the province," the action committee stated.

The Action Committee further decided that it would investigate the case independently via a 'Fact Finding Team,' which will submit its report within two weeks.

'Justice Delayed is Justice' and this case has already been delayed and remains unresolved even after three months, they stated.

The statement added that journalists simply want a result, not assurances, and PFUJ believes that the 'murder of one journalist is a message for others' and in the last ten years, over 100 journalists had been killed in all four provinces.