Police manhandle journalists, seize equipment -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Police manhandle journalists, seize equipment

On 16 April 2005, police manhandled editors, journalists and photojournalists at Lahore Airport. The journalists were accompanying Asif Ali Zardari, leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party and spouse of
former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was returning to Pakistan from Dubai.

Police also confiscated the journalists’ mobile phones, cameras and laptop computers. Journalists who refused to hand over their mobile phones and cameras were informed by the police that they would not be allowed to leave the airport until they handed over their equipment to the authorities.

Taking photographs is prohibited at the airport, and officials wanted to ensure that media workers had not taken any photographs while there. Journalists protested the police action and staged a sit-in at the airport
for several hours, until police received instructions to allow the journalists to leave without checking their equipment. Police also returned the equipment they had seized from several journalists after removing film,cassette tapes and memory cards. The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) condemned the incident as an attack on press freedom.
Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)