New York, May 10, 2013 – The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Pakistan’s interim government to reverse its decision to expel New York Times bureau chief Declan Walsh from the country. The order comes on the eve of national elections that will bring about the first successful change of civilian government in Pakistan’s history.
“The expulsion of Declan Walsh shows just how much the authorities fear independent media coverage,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “The vagueness and the late night delivery of the expulsion order smack of a need to intimidate foreign and local journalists on the eve of historic elections that could herald the growth of democracy in Pakistan. Instead, Walsh’s expulsion only mars the event, and undercuts hopes for a free press.”
Journalists in Pakistan face deteriorating security accompanied by a lack of justice. Authorities have failed to prosecute a single suspect in the 23 journalist murders over the past decade. On May 23, CPJ will publish a report analyzing the state of press freedom in Pakistan.