HKJA in Global Day of Action Conserning Pakistan’s press freedom

Aware of the seriously deteriorated situation for journalists work in Pakistan, the Hong Kong Journalists Association sent a letter (see attachment) in person to the Consulate General of Pakistan in Hong Kong yesterday, a day prior to the Global Day of Action. We urge the Pakistan Government to take all immediate steps to lift censorship and controls on media and take whatever steps are necessary to protect journalists in their work.
The Global Day of Action, which took place today, is anchored by different media associations and journalists around the world. It is launched by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the International Federation of Journalists Association calling for the Pakistan’s rescission of the emergency decree and uphold the Government’s prior commitments to free expression in Pakistan.

Below is the letter of HKJA to the Consul General of Pakistan in Hong Kong


Mr. Tariq Shafi Chak
Consel General of Pakistan
Room 3706
China Resources Building
26 Harbour Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
14th November 2007
Dear Sir,
The Hong Kong Journalists Association, the sole trade union for the frontline journalists, wish to express our strong condemnation of actions taken by the Government of President Pervez Musharraf in recent days which have accompanied the imposition of emergency powers.
This has involved the suspension of democratic rule and a national clampdown on the media, including the installation of military personnel in television stations, the closure of domestic airwaves to non-state media and the banning of anti-government reports in the press.
Orders have been issued that have the effect of trying to impose censorship on media and that carry with them punitive fines and jail sentences for media that do not comply.
We fully support the protests of the International Federation of Journalists and our colleagues in the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) over these actions and their impact on the media.
We are disturbed to learn of police raids on several broadcasting stations in Islamabad and Karachi, with the confiscation of material and equipment, and we condemn the closure of all private news channels and the decision to order FM radio news outlets off the air and we deplore the efforts of the government to impose censorship through intimidation of media.
We believe that the challenges facing Pakistan cannot be solved by actions that prevent journalists from doing their work and that put our colleagues at risk of their personal safety. Such actions will only encourage fear, ignorance and rumour within the population at large.
We urge your Government to take immediate steps to lift the imposition of censorship and controls on print and broadcast media and we call on you to take whatever steps are necessary to protect journalists in their work.
In this regard we support fully the calls by the IFJ and the PFUJ for a Global Day of Action on Thursday 15 November against the actions of the Pakistan government. We express our full solidarity with colleagues in Pakistan in their demands for a return to the rule of law and democracy, including press freedom and freedom of expression for all.
We ask you to do what you can to ensure that free journalism and democracy
are reinstated in Pakistan without any delay.
Yours Sincerely,
 Fan Ho Tsai
 Chairperson, HKJA
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