IFJ Condemns Attack on News Crew in Pakistan

The International

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

(PFUJ) in condemning an attack on an AVT Khyber News reporting team in Peshawar, Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa province, on August 22.

 

Bureau chief Hazrat Khan Momand,

resident editor Akhbar-i-Khyber Nisar Khan and news controller Syed Waqas Shah

were reportedly intercepted by unknown men on a motorcycle near the Peshawar

High Court building as they returned to their office in the afternoon.

 

According to the PFUJ and its

affiliate, the Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), the assailants verbally

abused the team before hurling bricks and stones at them. They fired shots as

they fled.

 

Hazrat Khan Momand was seriously

injured and is recovering in hospital, according to the PFUJ.

 

Unconfirmed reports suggest the

attack may be related to Khyber News reports in recent days about allegations of

government corruption.

 

The team had earlier reported on the

welfare of provincial Education Minister Sardar Hussain Babak, who is in

hospital after an ambush on his vehicle in Buner district on August 21.

 

The PFUJ and KhUJ demanded an immediate

inquiry into the attack on the news crew.

 

“Local and federal authorities must

respond with urgency to the alarming regularity of attacks against journalists in

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and end the impunity which prevails for murder,

assault and abduction of media personnel across Pakistan,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

 

The PFUJ also noted concerns about another

attack on a television crew on August 19. In that incident, a Samaa TV team was

assaulted by police as they reported on the emergency response at the Hayatabad

Medical Complex after a suicide bomb attack killed 48 people at a mosque in

Jamrud, about 25 kilometres from Peshawar.

 

Samaa bureau chief Shaukat Khattak

was seriously injured in the incident. He told the Daily Times that a police officer struck him from behind as he

talked on the phone. Cameraman Imran and assistant Anwar Khan were also

reportedly injured.

 

The KhUJ will voice concerns about attacks

against the media at a demonstration at the Peshawar Press Club on August 23.

 

Meanwhile, grave concerns continue

to be held for the welfare of tribal journalist Rehmatullah Dawar, whose

whereabouts are unknown since he was abducted in North Waziristan, in Pakistan’s Federally

Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), on August 11.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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