Kidnapped Journalist Released in Pakistan

The

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.

 

Noorul

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.

 

While

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.

 

Hasan

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,

where Pakistan’s

Army is battling an insurgency.

 

The

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.

 

“The IFJ

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.”

 

The

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

media workers.

 

“The

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

said.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide