Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Musharraf regime continues to beat journalists

The News International, November 21, 2007

Police baton-charge journalists rally in Karachi
180 media persons arrested, freed

By Shamim Bano

KARACHI: Police on Tuesday 20 November baton-charged a rally of journalists to prevent them from reaching the Governor House to protest against curbs on the media.

The brute use of force by the police led to the arrest of 180 journalists, including women, many of whom courted arrest outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC). The rally was organised by the Karachi Union of Journalists as part of the ongoing countrywide protests called by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) against the curbs on the media and the ban on Geo and ARYone world TV channels.

Barricades had been erected by the police all around the Press Club building to prevent protesters from proceeding to the Governor House. The media people took to the streets chanting “Hum Chheen Key Lengey Azadi” (we will snatch freedom), “Hum Nahi Mantey Zulm Key Zabtey” (we do not accept the rule of tyranny).

As they marched towards the Governor House to register their protest against the government’s curbs against the media, the police officials tried to forcibly prevent them and a clash between journalists and police personnel started. Police arrested about 25 senior journalists, including KPC President Sabihuddin Ghousi, KUJ President Shamim-ur-Rahman, KUJ Secretary Javed Chaudhry, KPC Treasurer Amir Latif, Ahfaz-ur-Rahman, Shakil Salawat, Moosa Kaleem, and others. Following the detention of their senior colleagues, around 200 journalists, including women, courted arrest.

Those who courted arrest included Editor Reporting The News Kamal Siddiqi and Director News Geo English Owais Tauhid, Secretary Association of TV Journalists Faisal Aziz and many others including Raja Tariq, Najeeb, Afzal Nadeem, Sabina Agha, AH Khanzada, Xari Jalil, Rahma Mohammad, Asra Pasha, Shehzad Anwer, Tariq Abul Hasan, Faheem Siddiqi, Zarar Khan, Nizam Siddiqi, Dodo Chandio, Arbab Chandio, Huma Imtiaz and Asif Mehmood.

The police brutally beat up President Association of Television Journalists (ATJ) Javed Saba, when he tried to pacify the journalists. The police shifted the journalists to five police stations: Docks, Frere, Darakhshan, Clifton and Civil Lines.

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