IFJ Welcomes Arrests in Pakistan

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists

(PFUJ) in welcoming prompt action by police in Pakistan

to arrest bank security staff who attacked and illegally detained television

news crews in Islamabad

on April 27.

 

The PFUJ, an IFJ affiliate, reports

that security personnel at Zarai Taraqiati Bank (ZTBL) assaulted and detained Samar

Abbas and Asif Mirza, of Dawn News, and Wasim Malik and Liaqat Abbasi, of Samaa

TV, as they reported on an investigation by Pakistan’s Revenue Department into

a debt owed by the bank to the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI).

 

As an EOBI team sought to act on a

warrant to seal property at the bank, bank employees tore at the clothes of

media personnel, and broke equipment including cameras and phones, according to

the PFUJ.

 

After bank security personnel

detained the media workers in an office at the bank, PFUJ President Pervaiz

Shaukat assisted police to gain their release.

 

The Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of

Journalists (RIUJ), an affiliate of the PFUJ, and the injured media workers

have lodged complaints with local police.

 

According to news reports, police

detained three bank security personnel, who all are retired army officers, and

two to four more staff members.

 

“The IFJ welcomes the quick response

of Pakistan’s authorities to the attack on media teams in Islamabad, but

strongly urges power-holders at the federal and provincial levels to take just

as prompt action to investigate fully and effectively all attacks on media

personnel across the country,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

The IFJ calls for prompt investigations

by police into continuing violence against media in the country’s conflict

zones, including a blast at the offices of private radio station FM 93 Radio

Dilbar in Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, at 1.25am on April 19.

 

According to the Khyber Union of

Journalists, an affiliate of the PFUJ, Radio Dilbar stopped transmission for

about three hours after equipment was damaged in the blast, which was triggered

by remote control. No one was injured.

 

The motivation for the attack is not

clear. While militants are suspected, no group has claimed responsibility.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific