Pakistan

Unrelenting assault on the media and other civic freedoms in Pakistan

In recent months attacks on civic space have persisted in Pakistan which is rated as ‘repressed’ by the CIVICUS Monitor. The has been an unrelenting assault on the media, with journalists being attacked, criminalised and taken off the air. A stringent new media law is being proposed that will undermine press freedom and legal amendments have been proposed to criminalise criticism of the military. Leaders of the ethnic Pashtun movement continue to face judicial harassment while the authorities are deliberately stalling the functioning of the national human rights body Read more

Unrelenting assault on the media and other civic freedoms in Pakistan

Attacks on Aurat March, minorities and critics highlight shrinking space for dissent in Pakistan

In recent months, intimidation and threats against women activists involved in the Aurat March have been experienced, while groups continue to raise concerns about enforced disappearances. Pashtun activists have been arrested for their comments during protests while transgender persons have continued to face attacks. The authorities also attempted to increase controls over the media while three people were sentenced to death for online blasphemy. Read more

Attacks on Aurat March, minorities and critics highlight shrinking space for dissent in Pakistan

Targeting of human rights defenders and enforced disappearances in Pakistan continue

Human rights groups and the UN have raised concerns about human rights defender Idris Khattak a year on from his enforced disappearance. Human rights defender Muhammed Ismail, the Secretary-General of the Pakistan NGO Forum (PNF), and his wife Uzlifat Ismail continue to be targeted by the authorities. Enforced disappearances targeting students, activists, journalists and human rights defenders have continued relentlessly in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan. Read more

Targeting of human rights defenders and enforced disappearances in Pakistan continue

Activists and journalists facing harassment, being forcibly disappeared or killed in Pakistan

Pakistan remains a dangerous place for activists and journalists. Over the last few months, a number of individuals have been victims of enforced disappearances including journalist Matiullah Jan, political activist Mohammad Amin and human rights defenders Idris Khattak and Sarang Joyo. No one has been held accountable for these crimes. Editor-in-chief of the Jang group, Shakilur Rehman and family are facing judicial harassment while anti-corruption journalist from Balochistan, Anwar Jan Kethran was killed. Academics have also been accused of blasphemy or sedition. Read more

Activists and journalists facing harassment, being forcibly disappeared or killed in Pakistan

Pashtun activists targeted amid pandemic while press increasingly muzzled in Pakistan

In recent months, Pashtun activists continue to be targeted while women’s rights activists continue to face risk and attacks. There has been a lack of accountability over the enforced disappearance of Idris Khattak, activist Muhammad Ismail continues to face judicial harassment, while the state has continued to silence critical media and block online content. Healthcare workers were also arrested for protesting against the lack of protective equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Pashtun activists targeted amid pandemic while press increasingly muzzled in Pakistan

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

Over the last few months, Pakistani human rights defender Idris Khattak was forcibly disappeared, activist Muhammad Ismail was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges, while his daughter and women rights activist Gulalai Ismail fled the country. The authorities also denied entry to a representative from the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ), warned news anchors not to express their opinions, while journalists from the Dawn newspaper faced threats for their reporting. Student protesters including Alamgir Wazir were arrested and charged for their activism. Read more

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

Lack of accountability for Pashtun rights protesters killed and injured in North Waziristan

In the last few months, state repression against the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) a mass movement promoting the rights of the Pashtun people has persisted as well as journalists covering the movement. Human rights defender Gulalai Ismail remains at risk of arrest for her activism, journalists are being monitored on social media and despite commitments by the authorities to address enforced disappearances including of activists, progress has been slow. Read more

Lack of accountability for Pashtun rights protesters killed and injured in North Waziristan

Civil society groups denied registration while journalists and activists are being silenced

The Pakistan authorities have continued to deny registration to local civil society groups and expel international NGOs. They also announced a security audit of NGOs over suspicions of links to foreign agencies. Journalists continue to face arrest or warnings from Twitter that they had violated Pakistani laws. The crackdown on the ethnic Pashtun movement has persisted, as well coverage of it in the media. Read more

Civil society groups denied registration while journalists and activists are being silenced

Civil society says shutting down of international NGOs an ‘attack on civic freedoms’

In October 2018, the authorities ordered 18 international non-governmental organization (INGOs) to shut down operations and leave the country including Action Aid Read more

Civil society says shutting down of international NGOs an ‘attack on civic freedoms’

Blatant attempts to manipulate elections and assault civic freedoms, says Pakistani civil society

Civil society groups have continued to raise concerns about the sustained assault on freedom of expression and association ahead of the parliamentary elections on 25th July 2018. Media houses and journalist have been targeted and an environment of self-censorship is being imposed. Civil society and human rights activists have been attacked and harassed. Read more

Blatant attempts to manipulate elections and assault civic freedoms, says Pakistani civil society