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
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.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
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