HRW demands immediate release of journalist
NEW YORK: A US-based international human rights group on’Saturday demanded the immediate release of a Pakistani journalist arrested last month while working with two French journalist
Human Rights Watch (HRW),in a”statement issued here urged the President Pervez Mushaeeaf to order the release of Khawar Mehdi Rizvi.
Rizvi and two French journalists, Marc Epstein and Jean-Paul Guilloteau of L’Express magaÂzine, were arrested on December 16 after they r 1 returned from Quetta.
The Frenchmen were freed and flew home on January 13 after paying a fine.But Rizvi has not been heard from since state-ruii television showed him in custody soon after the trio’s arrest, with Pakistani authorities denying any knowledge of his whereabouts.
“This illegal detention without,, any charge marks a new lov7 in the growing assault on press freedoms in Pakistan,” said Sam Zia Zarifi, Deputy Director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, in a statement.
“Since General Musharraf assumed power in a bloodless coup d’etat in 1999, the Pakistani government has systematically sought to silence Ole press through threats, harassment and arbitrary arrests,” the statement said.
“If there are charges to. be brought against Rizvi, he should have his day in court. Otherwise, he should be released immediateÂly.
Source: Business Recorder