RSF concerned about safety of media persons in Swat after Taliban threat

April 29th, 2009 - 3:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Peshawar, Apr.29 (ANI): Following the Taliban’s threat to the media to not to promote ‘anti-Taliban coverage’ in the Swat Valley, the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has expressed concerns about the safety of media professionals in the region.

In a statement issued by the RSF, the organization said that Taliban threats were unacceptable, and seriously endangered the safety of the journalists working in the region.

“We appeal to TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad, who recently told the RSF that he believed in press freedom, to guarantee safety of journalists to put a stop to the threats,” the statement said.

Earlier, pamphlets warning media houses were found scattered at the office premises of several TV channels and newspapers reporting on developments in the region.

“All editors of wire services, private and government-run news agencies and journalists and columnists are informed that the way you present news and report events give us an impression that you are pursuing a pro-West policy under greed or pressure saying that the Taliban are sabotaging the peace and enforcement of Islamic system,” the pamphlets stated.

“The media helps the west focus on us. Stop doing this and if you did not desist from doing this we will take you to Islamic courts and you will be responsible for this conspiracy and will be responsible for terrible consequences,” the Urdu pamphlets warned.

Editors of local dailies and news channels have taken the warning seriously and are planning to suspend their operations in the region

“We will have no other option, but to close down newspapers and leave the district,” the editor of a local daily, Shumal, Ghulam Farooq told The Daily Times.

“The Taliban are angry with aggressive government-media campaign against them,” another media person, based in the Valley, Fayyaz Zafar said. (ANI)

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