Journalist’s torture case adjourned
LAHORE: The LHC chief justice on Monday summoned the Islamabad superintendent of police (investigation) in suo motu case against abduction and torture of journalist Umar Cheema by unidentified persons.
Earlier, Islamabad SSP Tahir Alam appeared in the court and informed the chief justice that a special investigating team had been formed comprising CIA DSP and CID DSP, under the supervision of the industrial area zone SP. However, no arrest had been made so far.
After this, the CJ adjourned hearing till Sept 15, and directed the SP Investigation to appear in the court along with progress report.
CONDEMNED: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday condemned the abduction and torture of the journalist and lamented the lack of progress in apprehending the culprits despite a lapse of several days.
A statement issued by the commission said the case is particularly disturbing since it reveals a pattern of torture and intimidation no society can condone. That the attackers have neither been fully identified nor apprehended despite the lapse of several days adds to public anxieties.
It has become fashionable to put a price on information leading to the perpetrators, when it is one of the primary responsibilities of the administration to track down criminals.
The government must also honour its obligation to provide a safe environment for all citizens, for journalists in particular for no other reason than the fact that without their help the tribulations of ordinary citizens will not become known. If a well-known journalist can be treated in this manner one can only imagine the plight of a common citizen, such as Veerji Kohli of Hyderabad, who was released a fortnight ago after being abducted for pursuing a rape case.
HRCP hopes the alarm caused by the torture of the newsperson will draw attention to the ordeal of lesser mortals in the country, those not backed by a powerful lobby, and whose plight is not acknowledged by suo motu notice, or a call from the prime minister, or announcement of millions of rupees in reward for an informant to come forward.”
SAMC: The kidnapping of a reporter followed by the brutal treatment meted out to him by assailants of unidentified “agencies” has sent a shockwave across the free media in Pakistan. Â“This is the handiwork of professional hoods with an axe to grind against Umar Cheema for his brave reporting of the misdeeds of these “agencies”, said Najam Sethi, secretary-general of the South Asia Media Commission.