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 Journalist, 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 headquarter 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) Chudhri Muhammad Shafiq while performing the sensitizing course told that crimes against Journalist 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 Protection of Journalists and media workers when we have proper data with us. He added that when any video of a crime against Journalists goes viral on social media it brings embarrassment to the country and portray a negative image of the country on international front because data generated from other sources are always fabricated and exaggerated which haven’t link with realities. So it is very important that we have verified and authentic data.
CEO Peace and Justice Network (PJN) Syed Raza Ali and lead national expert on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 told Islamabad is the sole city where this capacity building workshop of sensitizing police regarding recording and reporting of crimes against Journalist introduced as a pilot project and soon we will carry 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.
While explaining the national reporting process as given in SDG 16.10.1 for recording and reporting crime against journalists and media workers, Mr. Raza also highlighted its national importance and the key role police have to play mainly to address low conviction rates.
Mr. Raza added that this is a major perception across the country that journalists across the country are on threat and there is a need for immediate steps by government and protection institutions. He added that as per the National Economic Council, collection of crime against journalists is a state priority. Also now PJN is closely working for bringing legislation at national and provincial level to address legislative gaps. One of the major achievement is that
“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 chief guest on the occasion and said that police and media are interconnected and both professions are close to each other. DIG added that police should share data with the journalists because these are requirements of their profession and Islamabad police is performing very well. He added that Islamabad police will provide every assistance to journalists and police who performed very well in the past and now the research organizations are endorsing that the crime rate in Islamabad is on a decreasing limb. He added that like always media portray negative images of police but media should also report positive news of police.
He added that statistics regarding the crime is appreciable but our victory and pride is to create a positive image in the public minds adding that police have no right to humiliate any citizen because we are serving on their salaries so we should serve them.