May 8, 2012
The Rt. Hon. David Cameron
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
Dear Prime Minister Cameron:
As you begin your meetings with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to review the Pakistan-U.K. Enhanced Strategic Dialogue, we would like to draw your attention to concerns regarding the protection of journalists in Pakistan. CPJ data show that the country has been ranked the deadliest in the world for journalists for two consecutive years. This year, Pakistan also placed 10th on CPJ’s Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are regularly murdered and their killers go free.
At least eight journalists have died in Pakistan since the beginning of 2011 while covering dangerous assignments. These murders have been attributed to members of the government, business owners, and agents of militant groups. This record reflects a long-term problem.
We ask that you take this opportunity to discuss the crucial issue of journalist safety as well as the high level of impunity surrounding the murders of Pakistani journalists. The dialogue, already intended to promote mutual security and prosperity, would go far in protecting journalists under constant threat in Pakistan.
The dialogue may also explore ways in which security assistance may be directed to the Pakistani press community, which plays a vital role in preserving the country’s democracy. We hope you will add these important points to your discussion in the coming days as your government works to find ways to assist Pakistan.