Dawn photographer beaten up by Rangers in Karachi
KARACHI: Faysal Mujeeb, a photographer working for Dawn-White Star was manhandled by Rangers personnel while he was covering a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) event in Azizabad on Thursday evening.
The event, ‘Yaum-i-Shuhada’ was held near ‘Nine Zero’, formerly the headquarters of the MQM led by its founder leader, Altaf Hussain.
Mr Mujeeb said he was doing his professional duty to cover the event. He said relatives of slain MQM activists had started arriving at the venue, ‘Yaadgar-i-Shuhada’ since the morning and were laying floral wreaths and rose petals on their symbolic graves.
“Media personnel were present at various spots at Yaadgar-i-Shuhada to cover the event. I was also standing at one of the spots, near Tabba Hospital’s gate, where many Muttahida workers were present. Some of them started raising slogans in favour of Altaf Husain prompting Rangers personnel on duty there to start detaining them. I and another media worker, Mehboob Ahmed Chishti, were also picked up,” he said.
Mr Mujeeb said he proved his identity as press photographer and tried his best to make them believe that he was on the duty assigned to him by Dawn. However, he said, the Rangers personnel did not listen to him and started beating him up. “They kept me in detention for about an hour and subjected me to severe thrashing. I was set free only after a Rangers officer came and got my identity verified from his sources,” he added.
He said his camera and mobile phone also got smashed during the episode. Pakistan Federal Union of Jouranlists (PFUJ) and Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) have condemned the “high handedness of Sindh Rangers against the photojournalist”. They demanded action against the personnel responsible for the act under the journalists’ protection law.