PFUJ demands action against police
KARACHI, April 18,2005: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has condemned the recent incidents of violence against journalists in Lahore, Quetta and Karachi, terming the treatment a threat to the freedom of the press and demanded action against those responsible.
The PFUJ vowed to continue the struggle for the freedom of the press and urged the journalist community to hold processions and protest rallies to mark the International Press Freedom Day on May 03.
President of the PFUJ, Pervaiz Shoukat and Secretary General Mazhar Abbas, said police in Lahore on April 16, impeded independent coverage of Asif Ali Zardari’s arrival from Dubai, detained media employees, smashed cameras of some press photographers and physically abused many media personnel. The highhandedness was similar to what police afflicted upon newsmen last year during the arrival of President of PML (N) Shahbaz Sharif, said a PFUJ spokesman.
The PFUJ leaders refuted an earlier statement by Punjab Chief Minister Ch Parvez Elahi and Information Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, that newsmen were neither detained nor manhandled.
A day earlier the baton charge by Karachi police on journalists and photographers caused serious injury to one of the victims near his eye. The PFUJ demanded an apology from the government and action against those responsible.
Attempts to bludgeon the press into silence by preventing mediamen from coverage of a momentous event is in direct violation of freedom of the press. PFUJ also regretted the incidents in Quetta where men, claiming to belong to a local party, ransacked the office of The Daily Mashriq, Quetta and belaboured its Chief Editor, Kamran Mushtaq.
However, the JWP leaders, contacted by the PFUJ and BUJ leaders, denied their involvement in the incident. The PFUJ demanded an immediate arrest of those responsible for the attack and urged the Balochistan government to provide security and adopt preventive measures to avoid such incidents in future.
Source: The News