Two Pakistani journalists under detention of Israeli authorities after storming of “Freedom Flotilla”
Syed Talat Hussain, executive director of “Aaj TV” and producer Raza Mehmood Agha who were onboard a ship of Freedom Flotilla (the boats carrying pro-Palestinian activists bound for Gaza Strip) that Israeli commandos stormed in international waters on Monday, May 31, 2010, are reported to under detention by Isreali authorities.
The two journalists Hussain and Agha were among 600 people on the Turkish Freedom Flotilla that was carrying relief goods for Palestinians besieged in Gaza. Hussain and Agha had left Islamabad for Turkey on May 21 for going to Gaza.
Pakistan’s Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said all three Pakistanis are safe and sound and they will return to Pakistan soon. He said secretary general of Interpol is putting personal efforts for their release. The process of identification and confirmation of passport has been completed and efforts are underway to bring them back home.
Pakistan on Monday asked for the US government’s immediate intervention in the matter regarding the recovery of Pakistani nationals who were aboard Freedom Flotilla. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that he had telephoned US special representative Richard Holbrooke on the issue of recovery of Hussain and Agha. Pakistan Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani conveyed to US officials Pakistan’s request for help in tracing the whereabouts and status of the missing Pakistanis.
Hussain’s brother, defence analyst Syed Riffat Hussain, said that the government had informed him that there was no Pakistani among the people killed or injured in the attack.
An official statement issued after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani made a telephone call to the wife of Hussain said that Interpol had informed the government that the journalist was safe.
Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editor (CPNE) too has strongly condemned the naked attack by Israeli forces on Freedom Flotilla while terming it a brutal and barbarous act against the humanity.
CPNE President Khushnood Ali Khan and Secretary General Aamir Mehmood in a statement issued on Monday, May 31, expressed great concern over the detention of Hussain and his team. They emphasized on the international journalists community to give a clear message to Israel on its brutal act and ensure security of journalists while they are travelling.
Source: Pakistan Press foundation (PPF)