Two French journalists released -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Two French journalists released

KARACHI: Security agencies on Monday released two French journalists and a local man here, after their embassy intervened into the matter. They were taken into custody the same day after arousing suspicion, it is learnt reliably.

Sources said that two French journalists arrived here from India and reportedly went to Afghanistan along with a local man Khawar after crossing the Pakistani border from Balochistan province. The journalists were identified as Joel Marc Epspein and Jean Poul Guillope.

Sources said security personnel intercepted all three at Hub area on Sunday night on their return and took them into custody. However, they were released shortly after their escort managed to pressurise the law enforcers having used his contacts in the government.

It is learnt that when the matter came to the knowledge of high-ups of an intelligence unit, the police were again asked to detain the suspects. Since early morning, a search operation was started in some towns of metropolis and police checked almost every vehicle along the Hub road.

However, after many hours, the security personnel managed to get hold of them again. The sources disclosed that the French journalist approached their embassy and on its intervention, the law-enforcers set them free.

A senior government official, requesting anonymity, said: “We just wanted to question them, as they visited Afghanistan as well as some sensitive installations in our country without any prior permission”. He added: “I cannot say anything more as the matter is very sensitive.” However, partially confirming the incident, an official of French Consulate-General, when contacted by telephone, said: “No detention of French journalists has occurred”.

Source: The News
Date:12/16/2003