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