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The threats to media have taken many shapes and forms throughout the history of Pakistan, and yet, the 2018 elections have brought along a fresh wave of challenges. From attacks on journalists to attacks on business freedoms of media houses resulting in financial and commercial repercussions, from organised hate speech against journalists to the use of cybercrime and other laws to initiate legal action, the press in Pakistan seems to be operating in a very restrictive situation.
This report documents the threats and attacks that have been directed at the media industry and practitioners in the few months before elections. 2007 and 2012, the two years before the previous general elections, were exceptionally bloody for journalists. This time, the scale of the threats is increasing and changing in nature.