Pakistan: Nine journalists injured in mob attack -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pakistan: Nine journalists injured in mob attack

Ten persons, including nine journalists, were injured on January 14 when activists of a sectarian religious organization attacked the Lahore Press Club (LPC) in the capital city of Punjab province in Pakistan. The attackers threw stones and bricks smashing cars parked inside the club as well as window panes of the building.

Activists of the Imamia Students Organisations (ISO) had gathered outside the press club to stage a protest demonstration against the death of Shiite religious scholar Agha Ziauddin who had earlier been injured in sectarian riots in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.

The demonstrators started misbehaving with a senior journalist Asghar Butt. When some journalists came to rescue their colleague, the ISO activists started beating them and started pelting stones and petrol bombs at the club premises. They then entered the club premises and broke the window panes and doors.

The journalists asked the police officials present outside the press club to take action but police made no effort to stop the attackers. The demonstrators remained in the courtyard of the press club for almost 30 minuets, before the police escorted them out of the premises.

Journalists Amer Moghal, Moazzam Bhatti, Rai Hasnain Tahir, Shadab Riaz, Shujaat Hamid, Haji Abdul Ghafoor, Amer Sohail, Shoaib Ahmad, Ijaz Mirza and club guard Wasif sustained injuries.

Journalists took out a procession in protest against the incident. The office-bearers of LPC termed the incident as an attack on the freedom of press. President LPC, Arshad Ansari demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

Police later registered a case and detained 148 students for attacking the press club and injuring journalists.
Source: PPF
Date:1/15/2005