Pakistan: Journalist abducted for four hours
Muhammad Rafique Balouch, reporter of Urdu language daily “Ummat” and Vice President, Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), was abducted by four unidentified people in plain clothes on March 21, 2011 in Karachi, the Southern port city and capital of Sindh province of Pakistan.
Balouch told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that on Monday, March 21, 2011, at 8.30am as he was going to Sindh High Court (SHC) to attend the hearing of 7th Wage Board Award hearing, four unidentified men in a car intercepted him. Three of them came out of the car and asked his identity. They inquired where he was going and when he said he was to the Sindh High Court, they forcibly put him in their car, blindfolded him and drove away.
After a 20-minute drive they took him to an unknown building and asked questions on Wage Board award movement and about KUJ President Siraj Ahmed and General Secretary Hassan Abbas. The abductors said they had information that Balouch planned to throw a shoe on the face of Chief Justice of SHC during hearing, and that they were deputed to remove Balouch from the scene.
After four hours, the abductors again took him in car and freed him in the city centre and warned him not to tell anyone about this incident. Balouch was kept blindfolded during the entire ordeal.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has condemned the kidnapping and harassment of Balouch, and sought an independent inquiry into the matter. The PFUJ said that it is very unfortunate that journalists were being maltreated and humiliated on flimsy pretext. The PFUJ urged the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Chief Justice Sindh High Court Justice Mushir Alam and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah to take action against those responsible for kidnapping of journalists.
Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)