Gun­men barge into Karachi Press Club, ha­rass scribes

The Hitavada - - 2ND FRONT -

SEV­ERAL gun­men in plain­clothes barged into the Karachi Press Club (KPC), searched the build­ing and ha­rassed re­porters there, a Club of­fi­cial said on Fri­day.

“Dozens of gun­men in plain­clothes en­tered the Karachi Press Club at 10.30 pm and ha­rassed jour­nal­ists, ex­am­ined dif­fer­ent rooms, kitchen, up­per floor of the build­ing and sports hall,” Nia­mat Khan, Joint Sec­re­tary of the club, told ‘Efe’ news.

“They forcibly made videos and took pic­tures with mo­bile cam­eras of dif­fer­ent por­tions of the club. It caused panic amongst the jour­nal­ists,” he added. When the jour­nal­ists asked the raiders who they were, they were “not able to give sat­is­fac­tory an­swers and why they were do­ing that”.

The men ar­rived in sev­eral ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing a po­lice mo­bile, Khan said. Au­thor­i­ties have promised to in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent. “It is the first ever in­ci­dent of this kind since the press club was founded in 1958,” he said.

Pak­istan is con­sid­ered one of the most dan­ger­ous coun­tries for jour­nal­ists and Re­porters With­out Borders ranked it 139 out of 180 in the World Press Free­dom In­dex.

In re­cent months, jour­nal­ists in the coun­try have or­gan­ised protests against cen­sor­ship.

In Oc­to­ber, hun­dreds of jour­nal­ists protested in Is­lam­abad against cen­sor­ship and re­stric­tions against the me­dia.

Jour­nal­ists also voiced the lack of free­dom to re­port be­fore the July 25 gen­eral elec­tions when English-lan­guage daily ‘Dawn’ ran into cir­cu­la­tion is­sues in parts of the coun­try and tele­vi­sion chan­nel Geo was blocked in April.

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