PPF strongly condemns violent attack on senior journalist Ayaz Amir; urge arrest of perpetrators
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) strongly condemns the violent attack on senior journalist Ayaz Amir. Such brazen acts of violence against journalists are unacceptable and continue to take place with impunity in Pakistan. The assault against Amir is telling of the shrinking space for free expression in the country and the consequences that journalists suffer for doing their job.
PPF urges the authorities to act without delay in ensuring the arrests of those behind this attack and ensure that this continued trend of attacks on media personnel is challenged.
On July 1, Dunya News senior analyst was assaulted by a group of men as he left his office in Lahore in the Punjab province. Speaking to Dunya News, Amir said that after he left following his programme, a car in a “very strange manner” blocked his car.
Recounting the incident, he said that after his car was blocked, a man wore a mask and took hold of the driver in Amir’s car, after which the journalist enquired who he was. In this time, Amir said, two men came to him and attacked him. Describing the attack, he said these men punched him and dragged him on the floor outside the car.
Amir said that the road was crowded so people gathered and eventually the suspects escaped the scene.
In pictures of the journalist following the attack, Amir appears shows visible signes of assault with his clothes torn.
While it remains unclear who was behind the attack, earlier the same day, Amir had addressed an event in which he had made references to the establishment.
Addressing the event attended by former prime minister Imran Khan, whom Amir also criticized in the speech, the journalist questioned Khan’s decision to give an extension to the army chief of the country.
Amir also said that the former premier had handed over Pakistan to proper dealers.
Following the attack on Amir, Khan condemned the assault. In a statement shared on Twitter, the former premier said: “I condemn in strongest terms the violence against senior journalist Ayaz Amir today in Lahore.”
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also condemned the attack. In his statement of condemnation, he added: “Such attacks on media persons are totally unacceptable. On my directions, Punjab Chief Minister has ordered a high-level inquiry into the sad incident to bring perpetrators to justice.
The Punjab inspector general of police has summoned a report of the incident from the capital city police officer (CCPO). The news report added that the CCPO has been told to make use of the safe city cameras to identify and ensure arrests of the perpetrators.