Newsman arrest protested
ISLAMABAD, January 27,2005: Hundreds of newsmen based in the twin cities January 26 staged a demonstration against the arrest of Al-Jazeera TV journalist Tasir Aluni, who was held in Spain a few days ago.
A large number of national and foreign journalists participated in a protest rally, which started from China Chowk and terminated at Jinnah Avenue. The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans denouncing restrictions on Press freedom.
They chanted full-throated slogans for the immediate release of the journalist. PFUJ Secretary General CR Shamsi, Afzal Butt, Najam Saqib and Nawaz Raza headed the rally.
Addressing to the protestors, the rally leaders demanded the release of Tasir Aluni, who was arrested by the Spain government while he was performing his routine duty. They termed the arrest of the journalist of any country a violation of Press freedom. “We would never allow any government to stifle the freedom of the Press,” they vowed, appealing to international human rights organizations to play a role in the release of the journalist.
On the occasion, RIUJ president Afzal Bhutt asked the ILO to take positive steps for the implementation of wage board award in the country and mount a serious attempt at the elimination of the contractual system from all newspapers.
“ILO has lost its creditability as far as the protection of labourers in Pakistan is concerned,” Bhutt remarked. He went on to say the government had failed to provide a secure and healthy atmosphere to the journalist community and the matter of wage board was still awaiting implementation.