International media body expresses concern about safety of Urdu Daily staff

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Peshawar, July 20 : The International press freedom organisation Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has expressed concern about the safety of the staff of Urdu Daily Aaj Kal in a letter to Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

According to the Daily Times, clerics at the Lal Masjid in Islamabad have repeatedly issued inflammatory statements aimed at the newspaper and its staff.

"The accusations leave them vulnerable to attack by militant groups at a time when civil violence is on the rise," the New York-based organisation said.

"The CPJ takes these threats very seriously. Made in the context of the widespread civil unrest and violence in Pakistan, anyone who is considered an enemy of the mosque's supporters, particularly those who work for a civilian media organisation, is at great risk," it said.

"We feel it is imperative that your government take immediate steps to protect journalists and media outlets who dare to take openly critical stances," the letter to Gilani says.

Aaj Kal Editor-in-Chief Najam Sethi said that following the July 11 demonstration, anonymous callers threatened staff of the paper's Islamabad offices. They have warned us "not to test their patience."

ANI

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