Bikyamasr : Worldwide media appeal against suicide bombings

May 11th, 2010

We, the undersigned journalists of Pakistan and defenders of press freedom around the world, condemn with the utmost firmness all recourse to suicide bombings in the middle of crowds of civilians that result in the deaths of innocent people including media workers.

In April, two fellow-journalists working for Samaa TV were killed in the space of two days in suicide bombings in Pakistan. They were both covering stories at the time and paid with their lives for doing their duty to report the news. These bombings have made Pakistan one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press.

As the Pakistani Muslim scholar Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said in March, there is no place for the martyr in Islam. In a 600-page fatwa, he did not hesitate to describe the perpetrators and instigators of suicide bombings as enemies of Islam.

“They cannot claim that their suicide bombings are martyrdom operations and that they become the heroes of the Muslim umma [Islamic community],” Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri said. “No, they become the heroes of hellfire and they are leading towards hellfire. There is no place for any martyrdom and their act is never, ever to be considered jihad [holy struggle].”

As journalists, we have to cover official events first hand but that does not mean that we support this or that politician or public figure. By targeting large gatherings, the organizations that use suicide bombings are endangering the lives of innocent civilians and reporters. This is not acceptable

We appeal with the utmost urgency to the leaders of the Taliban in Pakistan, to the jihadist movements and to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan to put a stop to all further suicide bombings in public gatherings.

We can no longer accept that our fellow journalists lose their lives.

Organizations that have signed this appeal:

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists – PFUJ

Reporters Without Borders – RSF

Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo (Brazil)

Association of Caribbean Media Workers

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (Bahrain)

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (Canada)

Cartoonists Rights Network International

Center for Media Studies & Peace Building (Liberia)

Comité por la Libre Expresión (Honduras)

Ethiopian Freepress Journalists’ Association (Ethiopia)

Exiled Journalists Network

Independent Journalism Center (Moldova)

Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (Azerbaijan)

Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information (Indonesia)

Institute of Mass Information (Ukraine)

Journaliste en danger (RD Congo)

Media Foundation for West Africa (Ghana)

Media Rights Agenda (Nigeria)

Media Watch (Bangladesh)

National Union of Somali Journalists (Somalia)

Observatoire pour la liberté de presse, d’édition et de création (Tunisia)

Pacific Freedom Forum

Pacific Islands News Association

Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (Palestinian occupied territory)

Southeast Asian Press Alliance

World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters

World Press Freedom Committee

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