International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Pakistan Federal Union
of Journalists (PFUJ) in welcoming the release of a television journalist who
was kidnapped in Pakistan’s
troubled Swat region and questioned about his reporting in the region and interviews
with a Taliban leader.
Hasan, the Peshawar
bureau chief of private channel Royal TV, was kidnapped when a group of armed
men in two cars intercepted his crew while returning from Swat in North-West Frontier Province
(NWFP) on February 8.
Hasan’s two colleagues were left alone, Hasan was detained, blindfolded,
threatened and questioned about his recent interview with a local Taliban
leader, Muslim Khan.
was freed 30 hours later when he was thrown from a car in Islamabad.
Hassan was on assignment with another reporter and
cameraman to report on people who had been displaced by the conflict in Swat,
Army is battling an insurgency.
PFUJ, an IFJ affiliate, condemned the incident as an “illegal detention” and
questioned the role of intelligence agencies.
“Yet again, the IFJ urges news media institutions in Pakistan
to implement adequate safety measures for employees required to report from areas
that are known to be especially dangerous for journalists,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
also reminds Pakistan’s
Government of its responsibilities under United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1738, which obliges all national governments to protect
journalists reporting in conflict zones.”
IFJ joined the PFUJ in calling on Pakistan’s Government and the Army
Chief of Staff, General Pervez Ashfaq Kiyani, to conduct an immediate and full
inquiry, and to ensure an end to harassment and intimidation of journalists and
Government cannot absolve itself from such incidents and must stop this heinous
way of questioning, terrifying and harassing journalists as intelligence
agencies supposedly work under the Ministry of the Interior," the PFUJ
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
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