PAKISTAN: JOURNALISTS FLEE SWAT VALLEY
Only a few journalists are left in
the government's military offensive against the Taliban, according to
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), as well as news reports on the website of
the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF).
RSF reports that national newspapers are no longer being distributed for
safety reasons. Swat residents no longer have access to satellite
television since the Taliban damaged the district's only cable distribution
network, and journalists are fleeing the area out of fear for their safety.
The authorities have introduced a curfew in Swat and neighbouring districts
in a bid to stop the Taliban from reinforcing their positions in the
"It is now impossible to get independently-sourced information about what
is happening in
Ghulam Farooq, the editor of the local daily "Shamal", told RSF, "All the
newspapers based in Swat have stopped publishing for security reasons,
because the situation is extremely dangerous. What's more, the curfew makes
it impossible for our staff to move about." According to news reports,
Farooq and his family have fled Swat.
Swat Press Club president Salahuddin Khan told reporters that journalists
had left the valley. "We are leaving Swat as we are under direct threat
from all sides," he said. Khan advised all journalists choosing to stay in
Mingora, Swat's main city, to work from home.
RSF is demanding the Pakistani authorities give journalists better
protection and permits "that allow them to circulate during curfew hours so
that they are able to do their job."
Visit these links:
- Journalists flee
- PPF website: http://www.pakistanpressfoundation.org/
Earlier Mosa Khankhel was reporting for GEO TV when he was killed.