Personnel of television news channels harassed while covering protest demonstrations
On December 15, 2014, in the city of Lahore, the capital of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, activists of the opposition political party, Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) attacked and harassed a media team of private television channel Geo News as it was covering their protest demonstration and preventing them from reporting. Earlier, PTI workers had harassed the reporters of the same new channel in the cities of Faisalabad and Karachi.
Another news channel ARY News had also complained that workers of the ruling political party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) hurled rotten eggs to their Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) van when they were covering the PTI protest in Lahore.
Geo TV said that the protesters attacked their anchorperson Sana Mirza, Sohail Warraich, reporters Jawad Malik, Ameen Hafeez, Ahmed Fraz and cameraman Khwaja Amir with stones, glass projectiles and bottles, besides using slingshots to hurl bricks at them.
PTI workers hurled bottles and harassed reporter Sana Mirza, who is also Joint Secretary of Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ)and raised hostile slogans where she was unable to hold back her tears. They pelted the Geo News van (DSNG) with stones. As a result, reporter Ahmad Faraz and cameraman Khwaja Amir received minor injuries. The protesters also threatened a Geo team at Liberty Chowk area of Lahore and stopped them from coverage.
Earlier, in Karachi on December 12, 2014, when PTI chief Imran Khan finished his speech and left the venue of his protest rally, PTI workers harassed the Geo News team including its female reporters Sidrah Dar, Umaimah Malik, and Cameraman Zubair Memon from Abb Takk television. They threw stones and empty bottles at the Geo News (DSNG) van. They also threw sticks and empty bottles and stone at the senior analyst, Mazhar Abbas, and other staff of the Geo News. They also harassed a female reporter, Sidrah, and used abuse language against her.
In Faisalabad on December 8, 2014, PTI activists also abused Geo News anchorperson Maria Memon, reporters Irfanullah and Hammad Ahmad and threw sticks at them when they were covering their protest rally. Their DSNG van was damaged in this attack. Infuriated PTI workers also wrote provocative slogans on their van with spray gun.
KUJ President GM Jamali, Secretary-General Wajid Raza Isfahani andVice-President Zaheer Ahmed Khan condemned the attack on KUJ Joint Secretary Sana Mirza and Geo reporter Amin Hafeez in Lahore. The President of one faction of Pakistan Federal Union of journalists (PFUJ) Rana Azeem, Secretary General Amin Yousuf strongly condemned the attack and demanded to stop this malpractice.
Pakistan Press Foundation