It seems like Eritrea and North Korea are the two most countries where journalists are faced with encumbrances on a daily basis. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, press restrictions in both countries range from imprisonment, repressive and restrictive laws to harassment. Another appalling strategy used to confine journalists is restricting internet access in these countries.
Africa’s Eritrea has around 23 journalists languishing behind bars, all of whom have not been convicted by a court of law. The media climate in the country is so hostile for journalists that many chose exile rather than imprisonment, including reporters for even state-run news outlets.
The fact that Pakistan has not been included among the top 10 most censored countries in the world, is a sign of relief for the nation. The violence-stricken nation has often been portrayed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world, on account of its depleting law and order situation. The Islamic republic was even labelled as the ‘Most Dangerous Country’ in the world by United Nations on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day last year, in light of the fact that journalists in this part of the world go about their business with the fear of reprisal in mind.
However, despite veiled and apparent threats from political parties and banned outfits in Pakistan, the country offers a fairly independent platform for journalists to do their jobs. The media influx during General Musharraf’s regime, has multiplied considerably. As a result, Pakistanis have displayed political activism, particularly the youth segment of our population. For now, Pakistan can rest easy as it is not among the world’s top most censored countries. Though, keeping in mind the dismal state of affairs of Pakistan’s security, complacency is one thing the nation cannot afford, as far as promoting journalism is concerned.