IFJ Strongly Condemns Brutal Bashing Of Senior Journalist In Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked and appalled at news of the brutal bashing of senior journalist and union leader Cr. Shamsi by the security guards of the Federal Minister for Labour on September 13 in Islamabad, after Shamsi demanded the implementation of the Seventh Wage Award.

According to IFJ affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), of which Shamsi was former secretary general, Shamsi was beaten after a parliamentary session when he informed the Minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan of the proposed countrywide "sit-in" on September 15 in protest against the non-implementation of the Seventh Wage Award which guarantees better wages for Pakistani journalists.

“An attack on a journalist union leader is an attack on all journalists, and this recent display of thuggery is absolutely disgraceful,” Christopher Warren, the IFJ President, said.

“There is absolutely no justification for resorting to violence, particularly assaults by goons doing the dirty work of a Minster of parliament,” Warren said.

The PFUJ reports the security guards attacked Sharmsi on the orders of the Minister who told them to "fix him".

Shamsi reportedly went to the police station to register an FIR against the Minister and his guards, however the case has not yet been registered.

“The IFJ strongly demands swift action against the Minister and his guards. The government of Pakistan must ensure that Ghulam Sarwar Khan is held accountable for this atrocious act, and that his guards are charged immediately,” Warren said.

The incident occurred only days after the son of Shakeel Anjum, a senior reporter at The News, was seriously injured in an armed attack.

The IFJ, the global organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries, demands an immediate resolution to both these cases and an end to the violence against journalists in Pakistan.

According the PFUJ and their affiliates this has only made the journalist community more determined to stage their protest "sit-in" outside the Parliament and outside Governor House in all the four provinces on September 15 for the implementation of the Seventh Wage Award and in defiance of the targeted violence.

The PFUJ has also called on all journalists to boycott covering the National Assembly and the Senate today, in protest of the attack on Shamsi.

The IFJ stands united in solidarity with its Pakistani colleagues and gives its total and unconditional support to their campaign for the implementation of the Seventh Wage Award and their protest sit in on September 15.

For more information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries worldwide