Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemns death threats; case registration against journalist Badar Zaman in Swat district of KP after writing a story on healthcare department
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemns the death threats and registration of a criminal complaint against Daily Huamawam resident editor Badar Zaman in the Swat district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
On July 1, Zaman published a story about the alleged illegal commission collection by two clerks of the health department. Following this, on July 18, Swat Assistant Commissioner Sohail Khan called the journalist into his office and asked why he published the news. According to Daily Humawam, a “fake case” was registered against Zaman the same day.
As per the details of the First Information Report (FIR), Zaman had raided the office of the assistant commissioner on July 18 and used abusive language with them along with his son, after which the case was registered by one of the clerks, Saddam Hussain.
Speaking to PPF, however, Zaman shared that the assistant commissioner had called him into his office on July 18, and when he reached his office, Badshah and Hussain were also there.
“They asked me the reason for publishing news against the illegal fee collection in the newspaper in a threatening way and also said that if I do not stop writing news against the people of the health department, they can kill me. They harassed me by asking the reason for publishing the news in a newspaper. As a journalist, I believe this was harassment and illegal to summon me upon the request of the corrupt clerks. Moreover, they not only called me and threatened me, they later registered a fake case against me and involved my family in it, with fake accusations,” Zaman shared.
Zaman said the FIR was registered against him and his son at the Syed Shareef Police Station.
Zaman lamented that his son was not a journalist and alleged that a fake case had been registered against them.
Swat Press Club General Secretary Niyaz strongly condemned the case against Zaman and his son. He added that they had required Swat District Police Officer Shafiullah Gandapur to take strict action against the assistant commissioner and his staff member. They also demanded that the “fake FIR” against Zaman be dismissed. He demanded that a fair investigation in the case be conducted.
Khyber Union of Journalists President Nasir Hussain told PPF that the matter was resolved between the clerks and the journalist as the District Police Office (DPO) was involved in the matter.
Daily Humawaz Chief Editor Pervaiz Alam told PPF that Zaman covered news against the two clerks of the health commission department, and he was later called in the office of AC Swat, and he was harassed and threatened by the two clerks and the AC in his office. Alam said that while Zaman had just written a news story, questioning a journalist on his news was “not acceptable.”
Alam added that the two clerks had visited Swat Press Club and apologized to the journalist and said that they had registered the complaint against Zaman over a misunderstanding and promised to submit an application for the dismissal of the FIR.