U.S. News

NYC Pakistani editors threatened: rights group

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. media rights watchdog group said on Wednesday that editors of two Pakistani newspapers in New York City have been threatened over reports on criminal activity in the Pakistani-American community and other articles.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, said threats were made against the editors of Urdu-language newspapers Pakistan Post and Urdu Times and thousands of copies of the papers destroyed.

The group said the free newspapers were targeted for stories on alleged criminal activities by Pakistani-Americans in New York City and opinion pieces by Jewish authors.

“Our research shows the threats and destruction of property were in direct reprisal for the newspapers’ reporting and commentary,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director, said in a letter to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg about the issue.

The New York Police Department said its Hate Crime Unit was investigating the case after a complaint was made in late May.

The newspapers’ editors reported to CPJ that about 10,000 copies of each newspaper had been taken from their distribution racks in late May and later found illegally dumped.

CPJ urged Bloomberg to take action to ensure the newspapers could continue to report without fear of reprisal and that they be allowed to distribute without fear of destruction by “groups intent on silencing the press.”