Another harsh month for journalists -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Another harsh month for journalists

ISLAMABAD: September 02 2006 proved a harsh month for journalists in Pakistan as 15 incidents of violence and threats against journalists and the media were reported, taking the total number of such incidents to 73 this year.

Statistics compiled by Intermedia, a media development body, and released on Friday (Sept 01), show that during August 12 journalists were harassed and tortured by both government officials and private groups. The statistics show that during this period, two journalists were detained illegally whereas seven were tortured or injured and three received threats.

Compared with statistics compiled from reports published in the press, the total incidents of violence and intimidation against journalists in 2005 were 44. Six journalists faced violence or intimidation in January 2006, seven in February 11 in March, six in April, five in May 13 in June and 10 in July. The most violent incident in August was reported from Sindh where a reporter, Omer Soomro, working with the local daily ‘Sham’ was kidnapped on August 27 from a town near Umerkot by the supporters of local Nazim Ali Bukhsh Mangrio, brother of Qamar Mangrio, an adviser to the Sindh chief minister. Omer Soomro was severely tortured and humiliated in public as he was stripped naked, his head, moustaches and eyebrows shaved off. Police had refused to register the first information report because the alleged perpetrators were influential.

Another incident took place in the troubled tribal areas on August 30 when unidentified assailants killed 15-year-old Taimur Khan. He was the brother of BBC correspondent Dilawar Khan, who was covering South Waziristan Agency. Unidentified people with blast targeted the house and a school run by Dilawar Khan’s family last year in December. Three armed men tortured a journalist from Mansehra, Mian Muhammad Hussain, correspondent for The News and Geo TV, at night when he was returning home from his office. The incident took place in late July but was reported by the press in August. NNI
Source: Daily Times