Missing journalist freed -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Missing journalist freed

KARACHI, Sept 23: A local journalist, Saeed Sarbazi, missing since Wednesday, returned home on early Saturday morning. Mr Sarbazi, allegedly in the custody of some intelligence agency, was left blindfolded on the Karsaz Road after returning him his personal effects, including cellphones. His car was found abandoned in Bahadurabad police limits. SHO Changez Khan said: “We found the car (ADX-296) abandoned.” He refused to hand over the car to Mr Sarbazi’s colleagues, saying that he could only give it to its owner. Narrating his ordeal at the Karachi Press Club on Saturday evening, Mr Sarbazi said that he was on his way to the KPC on Wednesday when he was intercepted by some unknown people near Jubilee cinema, who dragged him from his car into another vehicle and covered his face with his own shirt. “I told him that I am a journalist but they told me that I am a terrorist.”

He said that he did not know where he was taken but, according to him, it took them about 20-25 minutes to reach there. “I was interrogated about my personal and professional details, my family members, and my connection with the so-called Baloch Liberation Army. I told them that being a journalist, I had made some calls after Akbar Bugti’s killing about some news but I didn’t know anything about BLA or any of its members,” he said. “(Then) they took me to another room where they kept me awake for almost three days and did not allow me to sit during that time. He said that he was beaten up and tortured to extract some information, which “I did not have”. He said that his blindfold was taken off only when he was fed, adding that he had not seen any of his captorsÂ’ faces, Mr Sarbazi said.

He said that after three someone had told him that they picked up the ‘wrong man’. When he said that he had been telling them the same thing for three days, he was old to me just shut up. After his release at about 2:30am on Saturday, he said: “I called at home and informed them that I would be joining them soon.” Later, a meeting at the Karachi Press Club held, adopted a unanimous resolution condemning people who had allegedly detained Mr Sarbazi and subjected him to torture. The resolution also condemned the killing of the brother of the late journalist Hayatullah in Wana. It demanded of the government to ensure early and safe recovery of another journalist, Mehardin Marri.
Source: Dawn
Date:9/24/2006