SAMSN Partners Express Solidarity as Journalists Assaulted, Detained

Partner organisations of the South

Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) express solidarity with journalists who

have suffered assault and detention in India

and Pakistan



In an incident in India that has led to widespread

expressions of concern, photographer Bhaskar Deka was assaulted by personnel of

the Indian army as he was filming a scuffle between soldiers, villagers and

students at Misamari, near Tezpur, in Sonitpur district of Assam state, on July



Residents were aggrieved by an army

decision to close a road near a military camp, since this blocked off an

important route of access for school-going children.


Deka suffered bruises in the scuffle

and his camera was reportedly smashed by army personnel. He was later taken to a

police station in the army camp and detained for some time.


Partners of SAMSN, comprising media

freedom organisations and journalists’ bodies from the eight countries of South

Asia, also joined the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in demanding

the suspension of police officers who assaulted security staff and manhandled

three reporters at a newspaper office in Peshawar,

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on August 6.


According to reports received from

the PFUJ, police arrived at the office of the Mashriq, a leading Urdu

newspaper, after reports of gunfire in the area. Police sought to force their

way into the premises in the belief that the culprits were hiding inside. They allegedly

assaulted two security guards who tried to stop then and then roughly

manhandled three reporters.


The men responsible for the shooting,

it turned out, were not on the premises.


“As a platform for sharing

experiences between journalists and media workers pursuing their jobs in a

challenging environment, SAMSN welcomes these cross-border expressions of solidarity,”

IFJ Asia-Pacific said.


“Despite a relatively unfettered

legal environment, the dangers of arbitrary action by state and non-state actors

are ever present in most South Asian countries.”


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +91-9810518009



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