US-Based Pakistani Journalists Protest Media Crackdown
By Khalid Hasan

Washington: Pakistani journalists in the United States have expressed their horror at the attack made on their protesting colleagues in Karachi by police on Tuesday. As many as 150 were arrested, including TV cameramen and reporters.
A resolution circulated by Masood Haider on behalf of the US-based media professionals’ group said, “The Coalition of Pakistani Journalists in the United States condemns the brutal attack and arrests of journalists by the police and demands their immediate release. The protesting journalists were baton-charged by the police without any provocation, injuring scores of them as they emerged from the Karachi Press Club premises to take out a procession.
”The Coalition demands restoration of the banned Pakistani TV channels, whose transmissions were taken off the air by the UAE government.
”The Coalition notes that since the imposition of emergency rule, working journalists have been targeted by the government for harsh treatment, when they were engaged in peaceful protest in pursuit of their legitimate rights and even when they were performing their professional duties.”
The statement said that the Coalition was in the process of making contact with their journalist colleagues in the US media, US lawmakers, politicians and members of think-tanks to mobilize their support for the cause of Pakistani journalists and to have pressure put on the Pakistan government to abide by internationally respected norms of freedom of press and speech.
Contact is also being made with the office of the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva as well as independent human rights rapporteurs of the world body. (Courtesy Daily Times)


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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