Journalists harassed outside Karachi Press Club
Journalists and camera operators were harassed while covering a demonstration by women demonstrators demanding restoration of judiciary, in front of the Karachi Press Club on March 12, 2008.
According to press reports, members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) beat the demonstrators, who were members of the rival Mohajir Qaumi Movement.
In a statement, Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) President Khurshid Tanvir and General Secretary Khurshid Abbasi said dozens of armed men besieged the Karachi Press Club for hours and beat journalists coming in and going out of the club. A heavy contingent of police was present at the scene but chose not to take any action.
A camera operator who was filming the incident was beaten, while many journalists were driven away from the scene after firing in the air. The driver of a private TV channel’s van, who waited for his colleagues covering the event, was abducted but later released after he told them he was a TV channel employee.
The Karachi Union of Journalist (KUJ) and the Karachi Press Club condemned the attack on journalists and demanded of the authorities to ensure security to the life and property of the media personnel.
However, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement denied it was involved in the incident and said the attackers were not party members but outsiders who had used the name to MQM. A delegation of MQM leaders visited the press club to clarify the position of their party.