Paramilitary personnel ransack TV channel’s office in Balochistan
On October 4, 2010, paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) personnel attacked bureau office of “VSH News TV”, a private Balochi language TV channel in the city of Hub in Balochistan province. They harassed the staff members and ransacked and damaged office equipment.
Jabbar Baloch, reporter of VSH News told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) at 10:30 PM while he and his three colleagues, cameraman Ghulam Mustafa, Non-linear Editor Muhammad Salah and Intern Farooq Ahmed were working in office, eight FC personnel entered the office and ordered them put their “hands up”. The FC personnel then frisked of the four staff members and ordered them to get out of the office. The FC personnel then carried out a thorough search of the entire office, looked into contents of the computer and then threw it down on the floor. They also damaged other equipment and office furniture. After this they left the office.
Baloch said he contacted the FC spokesman, who initially denied the incident claiming these were not FC personnel. After one hour FC spokesman called Baloch to tell him that the attack and search was indeed by FC personnel, but it was carried out in misunderstanding.
Baloch told PPF that he had aired footage and critical comments of Balochistan journalists about FC personnel activities a week earlier and he feels that the attack might have been a reaction of that report.
On learning of the incident, a large number of journalists led by Abdul Aziz, President, Lasbela Press Club reached the spot and then held an emergency meeting at press club. Hub Electronic Media Association (HEMA) and journalists from other cities of Balochistan – Quetta, Gwadar, Turbat, Khuzdar and Pishin – have strongly condemned the attack on the VSH News office and called it an attack on the freedom of the press.
Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)