TV cameraman arrested and assaulted by police in Lahore
Waheed Butt, 40, cameraman, “Geo News”, a leading private news channel, was arrested and assaulted by police as he was filming the arrest of a 12-year boy by police on June 17, 2011 in Lahore, capital city of Punjab province of Pakistan.
Butt, who is also president of Lahore Cameramen Association (LCA), told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that when he was going to his office to perform routine duty, he saw four policemen arresting and beat up 12-year boy. When Butt asked as why they are dragging the boy, police personnel misbehaved him and said ‘stay out of this matter’. Butt followed police vehicle on his bike and captured the scene with his mobile phone camera. Noticing him, they stopped the vehicle, Station House Officer (SHO) Ahsan Ilahi got out of vehicle and snatched his mobile phone and ordered his men to arrest him although Butt told them that he is cameraman, working with a famous media organization.
Butt further said he handed over his motor bike to some persons known to him who had reached at the spot. Police personnel forcibly dragged Butt and took him in their vehicle to the Johar town police station. At police station he again showed his identification but they started beating him. In the meantime, Butt made a call through another cell phone to his office to inform them about the arrest.
Butt said when media team reached at police station SHO Elahi fled from the scene while other police officials misbehaved with journalists and then released him. Butt was detained for an hour during which police officials tore his shirt and slapped on his face. He showed bruises caused by fingernails on his chest when policemen dragged him. As the video clip was not properly shot, police also returned the mobile phone.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and ordered arrest of the officials.
Journalists also staged protest demonstration in front of Lahore Press Club (LPC). They condemned the attack on cameraman. The journalists, however, boycotted the press conference of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Investigation Ali Amir Malik and demanded immediate action against the accused police officials.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Malik Ahmad Raza Tahir has issued an order to suspend the SHO Inspector Elahi and policemen involved in the incident.
Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)