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Massive protests in Pakistan against police brutality on journalist

Rahim Yar Khan (Pakistan): Journalists in Pakistan and the Pakistan Saraiki Party (PSP) members have organised a hunger strike camp outside the Bhong police station in the country’s Punjab province to protest against the brutal torture of a local scribe by the police.

Quoting journalist Asghar Indhar, Dawn reported that he had uncovered the corruption of some officials in his news reports. According to Indhar, the officials got registered a false FIR against him and later the Police arrested and tortured him badly due to which his eyesight was affected and the police also plucked his nails.

Following the atrocity of the scribe, journalists across the district started protesting against the arrest of Indhar and demanded his medical examination, the police got conducted the medical examination at Shaikh Zayed Medical College Hospital (SZMCH) in which the torture was proved.

District Police Officer Asad Sarfraz assured the journalists that Indhar would be released and the FIR would be registered against an ASI. But the Bhong police forced Indhar to sign a blank paper so that he would not take any step against them but Indhar refused to do so, reported the publication.

The police said Indhar was arrested in a nominated FIR registered by a municipal committee official and he was still in lockup because the investigation was in progress. He said the DPO had suspended ASI Abid and that the Sadiqabad ASP was conducting an inquiry in this regard.

MPA Rais Nabeel Ahmed told Dawn that Asghar Indhar had interfered in an anti-encroachment operation and threatened the municipal committee team with consequences. The FIR against him was registered by the municipal committee official on charges of interfering in official matters. He said he was not involved in this matter by any means.

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Freedom of the press has long been a problem in Pakistan but the situation has deteriorated markedly under Imran Khan, who has dismissed allegations of attacks on the Pakistani press as a “joke”.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has ranked Pakistan the fifth most dangerous place for the practice of journalism, with 138 media persons there having lost their lives in the line of duty between 1990 and 2020. 


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