Lawyers at it again; assault journalists at LHC
LAHORE: Continuing their assault on journalists, lawyers attacked and manhandled reporters and cameramen on the premises of the Lahore High Court on Thursday after the hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to the thrashing of an ASI and reporters by some lawyers in a sessions court last week.
An LHC bench consisting of Chief Justice Khawaja Mohammad Sharif and Justice Ijaz Chaudhry was hearing the case when a large number of lawyers present in the courtroom started shouting slogans against the media. The bench adjourned the hearing for August 13.
The infuriated lawyers, led by Lahore Bar Association vice-president M.R. Awan, attacked reporters and cameramen outside the court, pelted vans of TV channels with stones and tried to push them out of the LHC premises. The camera of A.R. Adnan of Geo News was damaged.
Journalists later held a rally at the GPO Chowk in protest against the attack. Leaders of the Punjab Union of Journalists and Lahore Press Club urged the bar leadership to initiate disciplinary action against the lawyers who had attacked the journalists and brought a bad name to the legal fraternity.
Black flags were hoisted at the press club building. The journalists decided to set up a press freedom camp there, ban the entry of lawyers into the club and boycott the coverage of bar activities.
Journalist unions in different cities and towns of the country condemned what they termed black coats’ vandalism and held protests rallies.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mian Muzaffar Ali, senior vice-president Tahir Javed Malik and vice-president Irfan Iqbal Sheikh criticised the lawyers’ attempt to stop journalists from performing their professional duty.
They said in a statement that repeated assaults on journalists by lawyers were creating unrest and tarnishing the image of the country. They urged the authorities concerned to take action against the black sheep who were working against the interests of judiciary.