Aug 10, 2012

Balochistan: Pakistan’s Media Remain Silent

While enforced disappearances continue and the situation for Baloch people shows no improvement, the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons criticises the media’s indifference on the 864th day of peaceful protest against the disappearances.

Below is an article published by BalochWarna News:

The protest of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, an Organisation striving for the safe release of abducted Baloch, has reached to its 864th on Tuesday 08 August, 2012.

A delegation of Balochistan civil society and lawyer’s community visited the protest camp, outside Quetta Press Club, to express their solidarity with families of abducted and extra-judicially killed Baloch activists. The delegation has assured the protesters that they will support them at these hard times and stand with them in solidarity.

They said the Journalists Community in Pakistan has not had their right to this day. According to a recent report of Bytes for All, an Organisation striving for online press freedom, Journalists, students, lawyers and political activists from Balochistan were being illegally abducted and extra-judicially killed and that atrocities against them were on the rise. There is a total media blackout on such atrocities in Pakistan. Recently Baloch freedom seeking Organisation had boycotted Urdu channels stating that the Pakistani media was completely silent on Balochistan issue, the report added.

The delegation said that non-governmental Organisations working for press freedom also say that whatever is happening in Balochistan the Pakistan mainstream media is misrepresenting it. They do publish news but that doesn’t reflect the true voices of indigenous people. For example, the delegation said, there was no coverage of the token hunger strike protest of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons in the media.

The members of Balochistan Civil Society and Lawyers Community further said that in Balochistan the media person are being forced and threaten to publish news that are not even worth publishing. Due to pressure and harassment Journalists are forced not to present the real picture of Balochistan conflict.

Qadeer Baloch, the Vice Chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, told the delegation that the state brutalities and atrocities, operations and dumping of mutilated bodies have increased and these are sign of expanding the occupation over Baloch land. But, he said he was surprised at the media’s silence.