Tuesday May 25, 2021
KARACHI: Journalists reporting on the new restrictions imposed by the Sindh government in the city were reportedly thrashed by police officers on Monday night, as per a report in The News.
The incidents took place in Karachi's districts east and west where a senior photojournalist associated with a wire agency and a senior reporter of a private news channel were roughed up by police hours after the Sindh government imposed new restrictions in several cities of the province.
In the aftermath of the incidents, journalists who work late hours were wondering how they would go to their offices on Tuesday in the absence of directive on lockdown and instructions to the police, which the government failed to issue.
Fareed Khan, a journalist associated with an international wire agency, was busy covering the lockdown coverage in the city's Federal B Area when he was allegedly beaten up by police officers.
The journalist said this happened despite the fact that he introduced himself as a journalist first, showing his media card and the camera to the police officers.
“The cops shoved me into a police mobile van and continued to roam in the area for around half an hour during which they misbehaved with me,” Fareed Khan explained. “I showed my office identity card and camera and told them that I am on official duty but despite this, they continued to misbehave with me and took me to the police station where I was kept under illegal detention.”
Khan further said he was also thrashed despite informing them that “he is a journalist,” in the presence of a senior police officer.
Karachi Police Chief Imran Yaqoob Minhas took notice of Fareed's alleged manhandling, assuring the Karachi Union of Journalists Joint Secretary Talha Hashmi of taking action against the police personnel involved in the incident.
A few hours later, another similar incident took place when Saudabad police manhandled a journalist in district east, associated with a private news channel.
SHO Saudabad Rana Haseeb allegedly manhandled the news channel’s reporter Syed Wasim after taking him to the police station. The reporter said he had gone to a private hospital for media coverage.
In an incident of different nature, a team of a local private TV channel, including its reporter Afzal Pervez, DSNG operator and driver, were attacked by the employees of a restaurant while the news channel team was covering the SOPs’ violations in the city.
DIG East Saqib Ismail Memon ordered an inquiry into the incident.
The Crime Reporters of Pakistan also condemned these incidents and announced to stage a protest outside the Karachi Police Office today (Tuesday) against the manhandling of journalists by police.