Pakistan’s authorities must immediately revoke a travel ban on a leading journalist and allow the media to operate freely and without fear, Amnesty International said today.
Cyril Almeida, assistant editor of Dawn newspaper, was placed on Pakistan’s Exit Control List by the Pakistani authorities after the Prime Minister’s Office took exception to a front page report he wrote, dated 6 October, on tensions between the civilian government and the military.
“The travel ban on Cyril Almeida is a crude intimidation tactic designed to silence journalists and stop them from doing their jobs,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Director of Global Issues.
“Journalism is not a crime. They should be able to work freely and without fear. The Pakistani authorities must break with a longstanding practice of subjecting media workers to intimidation, threats, restrictions on movements, enforced disappearances and violence.”
Earlier this year Reporters without Borders ranked Pakistan 147th out of 180 countries for press freedom, the lowest position in South Asia.