RMNP Confers 2015 Sadiq Press Freedom Award on Zafar Aaheer

To mark the World Press Freedom Day, Rural Media Network Pakistan
(RMNP) today conferred the 2015 Sadiq Press Freedom Award on Zafar
Aaheer Resident Editor Daily Jang Multan, which carries a cash award
of Rs 100,000, This year RMNP Sadiq Press Freedom Award was instituted
with the support of veteran journalists, media consultant and Former
Director International Press Institute (IPI) Alison Bethel McKenzie.

rmnp   Zafar Aaheer , resident editor of the top- selling Urdu
language newspaper ” Jang” was attacked and badly beaten by a gang of
armed eight  car and two motor bike riders when he left his office  in
Multan city early morning of Sunday ( First June 2014). His car was
badly damaged in this incident, attackers snatched his mobile and
tried to kidnap him. They shouted at him and threatened to kill,
termed ” Jang  Group” as Indian agent. Zafar Aaheer was removed to
Nishter hospital Multan for medical aid. Earlier on 19th May,Zafar
Aaheer’s car was intercepted by six armed motorbike riders but their
kidnapping bid failed   as he rushed to nearby military check post .

Despite the registration of two case of kidnapping,
mobile snatching, beating and damaging the car of Zafar Aaheer against
14 unknown armed persons, Multan police have not arrested a single
culprit in any of case but also withdrew those two gunmen who were
deployed for Zafar Aaheer;s security., said President Rural Media
Network Pakistan Ehsan Ahmed Khan Sehar in his statement issued here
today.

The recognition of Mr Zafar Aaheer  is a symbol of the struggle for
the right to information and a reminder to the international community
about the tragic conditions  journalists in Pakistan faced last year
when sixteen media personnel lost their lives and at least 35 media
persons were injured. Resultantly International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) declared Pakistan as most dangerous country for
working journalists and media workers, RMNP statement said.

President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Khan Sehar suggested that there is dire
need for steps to be taken to improve the safety of journalists in
Pakistan, and to address the issue of impunity, which continues to
threaten media freedom. Journalists working in Pakistan are still
hopeful that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ‘s last year public
commitment to improving the situation comes to fruition, and that they
can play their role in informing their nations; people  and
contributing towards building a peaceful democratic future.

RMNP statement demanded the arrest of all unknown culprits wanted
in two cases registered with Multan police on the report of Zafar
Aaheer and the finalization of  police investigation with out further
delay.

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