Wednesday, May 5, 2010Twenty-six IFEX members and the PFUJ appeal to the leaders of the Taliban, to the jihadist movements and to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan to put a stop to all further suicide bombings in public gatherings: We, the undersigned journalists of Pakistan and defenders of free expression 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 any specific politician or public figure. By targeting large gatherings, the organisations 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. Signed, For more information: Reporters Without Borders 47, rue Vivienne 75002 Paris France rsf (@) rsf.org Phone: +33 1 44 83 84 84 Fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51 Reporters Without Borders http://www.rsf.org Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo Association of Caribbean Media Workers Bahrain Center for Human Rights Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Cartoonists Rights Network International Center for Media Studies & Peace Building Comité por la Libre Expresión Ethiopian Freepress Journalists' Association Exiled Journalists Network Independent Journalism Center Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information Institute of Mass Information Journaliste en danger Media Foundation for West Africa Media Rights Agenda Media Watch National Union of Somali Journalists Observatoire pour la liberté de presse, d'édition et de création Pacific Freedom Forum Pacific Islands News Association Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms Southeast Asian Press Alliance World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters World Press Freedom Committee and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists
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