Khan’s government rejects a Reporters Without Borders report, which ranks him among the world’s 37 worst press freedom leaders.
Pakistan has vehemently rejected a report by an international media watchdog that puts Prime Minister Imran Khan on a list of the world’s 37 worst press freedom leaders.
The Khan government’s angry backlash came in response to a Monday report titled “Gallery of Press Freedom Predators – Old Bullies, Two Women and a European,” published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), based in Paris.
According to the group, “cases of brazen censorship have been rife since Khan became prime minister” following the 2018 parliamentary elections. He said that during Khan’s reign newspaper distribution was cut off, the media was threatened with withdrawal of advertising and television signals. were stuck.
“Journalists crossing the red lines have been threatened, kidnapped and tortured,” the media watchdog said.
Pakistan’s Information Ministry, in a statement released Tuesday, dismissed the allegations, saying Khan’s government believed in “freedom of speech and independence of the media.”
In the statement, the ministry said it was surprising that RSF “jumped to the conclusion” that the media in Pakistan is subject to draconian censorship measures by the Khan government.
He said the government had “taken all possible measures to create a pleasant environment for journalists to fulfill their professional obligations.”
“It seems that the report which [Reporters Without Borders] issued is an attempt to slander the elected representative of the Pakistani people, without any corroborating evidence, ”the ministry said.
The ministry added that it hoped the watchdog in the future “will avoid such irresponsible journalism.”
But critics say Pakistan has long been a deadly place for journalists.
In 2020, it ranked ninth in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual Global Impunity Index, which assesses countries where journalists are routinely murdered and their killers are released.
Although Pakistan says it supports free speech, human rights activists often accuse the Pakistani military and its agencies of harassing and attacking journalists.