[NEWS] Arrest of Journalists in Giglit is Termed as State Terrorism

GILGIT (BS): Secretary Law of Gilgit-Baltistan got an FIR registered against two senior journalists of the region for publishing a news item which annoyed him. Later, the police arrested the media men and put them behind bars.

Abdul Rehman Bukhrai, the bureau chief of Baad-e-Shumaal, and Nazir Naji, the resident editor of Daily Bang-e-Sahar, were picked by the police when they were proceeding to their offices in the city after attending the budget meeting. The police hauled them off into their vehicle and took them to the city police station where they were detained.

After learning about the incident, a large number of mediapersaons reached the police station and protested against the registration of the case against the journalists and termed it an open attack on the freedom of the press. Late in the night, the SHO Sher Khan released the two journalists on the surety of their colleagues. Meanwhile, journalists in almost all parts of the region protested the registration of the case against the journalists and demanded action against the law secretary. The mediapersons, in protest, also boycotted a function held at the governor house to administer oath to Raja Azam as minister for planning and development. On the other hand, the two journalists said their news was 100 per cent based on fact, as the secretary had used foul language against the law minister. Meanwhile, former president of the high court bar Ehsan Ali termed the registration of the case illegal and asked the two journalist to move the court of law against the SHO and the secretary law. He termed the incident an act of terrorism and a violation of human rights.

CONDEMNATIONS: President of Gilgit-Baltistan Union of Journalists Tariq Hussain Shah has termed the registration of a case against two senior journalists and their arrest as a broad daylight robbery on the rights of freedom of expression and independence of the press.

In a statement here, he said the arrest of the journalists on publication of a news was the worst example of terrorism. He said all mediapersons were witness to whatever the secretary law had uttered against the chief minister and the law minister. He demanded of the chief minister to rein in on all such officials who were bringing a bad name to his government. He said the mediapersons in the region would continue their boycott of all official functions till the law secretary tendered an unconditional apology to the journalists.

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