Muzaffarabad : Press For Peace on Saturday expressed concerns over growing incidents of human rights violations, mainly attacks on journalists in Azad Kashmir.
The spokesperson of the organization said in a statement : “We are concerned over deteriorating situation of human rights and freedom of the press in Azad Kashmir as violence against women, monitories and press has increased since last few months.”
Press for Peace works for the promotion of human development and sustainable peace issued a statement about the few details about recent wave of abuse of rights in Pakistani Kashmir. He mentioned a small number of particular incidents in which local media persons were attacked by different groups or arrested and government authorities could not take action against the culprits.
“In Rawalakot district Mr. Haris Qadeer, a sub-editor of an Urdu Daily ‘Dharti’ was attacked by workers of student’s organization – Islami Jamait Talaba (IJT), which is an organ of radical Jamaat-e- Islami (JI),” he said.
The reasons of this assault are not clear yet; however, local reports suggest that journalist could have been attacked over publication of some news report, which infuriated the attackers. So far police have arrested two persons accused for their alleged involvement in this case.
In another incident in same area one more journalist’s home was shot by unknown people.
“Wife of journalist Mr. Masood Gardzi was narrowly escaped from the kalashankof bullets when she was sitting at home with her family last night,”
Mr. Kashmiri said his organization has recorded a series of sexual attacks on women and children, killing of civilians and occurrences of arsons of properties from minorities or powerless small tribes.
“However, authorities have failed to bring justice to the victims, including Chief Justice of this disputed territory, and were attacked last year. There is no significant progress in this case yet,” he added.
He demanded that the government should take necessary steps to perform its basic responsibility of the protection of its citizens.
Local human rights and media have criticized that the government for silencing the journalists who dared to expose its inefficiency and such abuse and malpractices of government functionaries as well.
Human rights activist Mr. Kashmiri referred a fresh example of arrested of journalist who was nabbed by police last month for publishing photos of some felled historical trees, which were chopped by the government officials before the Pakistani prime Minister visited Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir last month.
He urged international media freedom and human rights defenders to take the notice of human rights matters in the area.