TV cameraman who filmed killing of a young man by Rangers’ personnel receives threatening telephone call
Abdul Salam Soomro, cameraman, “Awaz TV”, a Sindhi language news and entertainment channel, who recorded the shooting to death of an unarmed youngster by the paramilitary Rangers personnel in Karachion June 8, 2011 received threats from unknown callers after the footage was shown on TV channels across Pakistan.
Soomro was recording a television programme at Benazir Bhutto Park in Clifton area of Karachi, where he saw and recorded a man holding a youngster- identified as 25 year-old Sarfraz Shah- by his hair and kicking him towards a group of about half a dozen Rangers personnel. A paramilitary soldier pointed his rifle at the neck of Shah, who pleaded mercy. The paramilitary personnel surroundedShah and as he moved towards one with his arms outstretched, he was pushed back and shot twice in the hand and leg. The video posted on social networking websites showed the victim lying on the ground pleading with the Rangers to take him to hospital.
Press reports quoting cameraman Soomro said he had received a threatening call from an undisclosed number on Thursday morning and after that he switched off his mobile phone. The caller said, “You seem to like making footages. Take care of yourself”.
AltafMemon, Director News and Current Affairs, Awaz TV told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that they informed Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Sindh government’s Information Minister SharjeelInamMemonabout the threat. Despite assurances about security, no measures were taken to protect his life. Therefore, organization has shifted Soomro to a safe place for his security. He said the cameraman had done his duty and not violated any rule or law.
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), President PervaizShaukat and Secretary General Muhammad Amin Yousafcondemned the threats to cameraman who had filmed the killing and said his life is now in danger. They also condemned the extrajudicial killing and feared the society is getting brutalized and falling to anarchy, which needed to be stopped.
Shaukattold PPF that they will announce an award for the brave cameraman who has filmed that incident and performed his duty. He said the cameraman is at safe place and now PFUJ will decide the future plan.
Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)