Reporter Who Exposed Lynching Brutally Assaulted in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is

horrified to learn of the brutal attack on Hafiz Mohammad Imran, a reporter for

the Duniya TV news channel, by an unidentified mob in the city of Sialkot in Pakistan’s

Punjab province.

 

 

Imran was

intercepted outside his home in the Ghauspura-Hajipura area of Sialkot on the evening of

August 29 by a group that arrived on motorcycles, according to the IFJ

affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).

 

The

reporter was violently assaulted and pushed against a wall before a crowd

gathered, forcing his assailants to flee the scene. Imran suffered fractures to

his arms and injuries to his shoulders.

 

“The IFJ

is shocked by the brutality of the attack on Hafiz Mohammad Imran and demands

that the assault be swiftly investigated and the perpetrators of this violence

feel the full force of the law,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan

White said.

 

The IFJ is

informed that the attack on Imran may have been related to his role in

capturing TV footage of a brutal public lynching of two brothers in Sialkot city on August 15.

 

The

coverage of the murders compelled Pakistan’s authorities to respond.

An investigation into the lynching by a specially empowered team of the city’s

police is believed to have submitted its report on the same day that Imran was

attacked.

 

According

to media reports, two local police officials at the sub-inspector level, Gulzar

Khan and Abdul Rasheed, have since surrendered before the law after being named

by the special investigation for negligence.

 

The IFJ is

informed that Pakistan’s

Interior Minister Rehman Malik had taken a personal interest in this case and

assured Imran of all necessary protection when he visited Sialkot on August 22.

 

PFUJ affiliate

the Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) has written to Pakistan’s

Interior Minister and the Chief Minister of Punjab Province,

reminding them that Imran’s coverage of the August 15 lynching was the key to

alerting law enforcement authorities, and reassuring the families of the two brothers

who were killed that justice would prevail.

 

“The IFJ

joins with its affiliate the PFUJ in condemning

this incident in the strongest terms, and reminds those responsible that

journalists will not be intimidated by violent acts that crudely attempt to curtail

free and independent reporting of the news,” White said.

 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on

+612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter:

@ifjasiapacific