PFUJ concerned over bad health of jailed newsmen -
Pakistan Press Foundation

PFUJ concerned over bad health of jailed newsmen

KARACHI, August 05 2005: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on Thursday (AUgust 4) expressed deep concern over the deteriorating health condition of the assistant editor of weekly “Friday Special”, Abdul Latif Abu Shamel, in prison, and demanded his immediate release as well as of three other mediamen and a newspaper hawker.

The PFUJ also appealed to all the newspaper employees, editors, human rights activists, lawyers, trade unionists, teachers, doctors and peace activists to participate in the “Freedom of the Press,” rally on August 9, at 3 pm from the Karachi Press Club to the mausoleum of the Quaid-e-Azam to demand release of the jailed newsmen.

PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat and Secretary General Mazhar Abbas, in a joint statement, condemned the registration of non-bailable cases against the journalists and ban on weeklies, “Zarb-e-Momin” and “Wajood” and official pressure on some 10 other publications.

They said that Abul Shamel, who was a senior journalists and author of three books was a heart patient and already had three operations and also had asthma problem. He and other jailed newsmen had been given “C” class in overcrowded Central Prison, Karachi, they said.

“It’s now almost two weeks since they had been arrested in the so-called publishing “hate material,” which the government so far failed to produce in the court,” they said.

The PFUJ leaders warned that if anything happened to Abu Shamel, who in the past had also worked as human rights activists in the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), the government would be held responsible.

They added that the record of Sindh government as far as “freedom of the press,” was concerned, had been worst in the last one year.

The PFUJ leaders said that it appeared that despite repeated demand from the PFUJ and the international journalists bodies, the government was not ready to give any relief.

They lamented that while the VIP arrangements were made for the meetings of the prisoners involved in corruption or heinous crimes, the journalists and the family members of the jailed journalists were not allowed separate meetings.

The PFUJ leaders appealed to the HRCP and international journalist bodies to raise their voices against inhuman treatment of the government to the jailed newsmen.
Source: Business Recorder