Islamabad, Sept 23: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)has expressed concern over arrest two cameramen of Al-Jazeera TV by the Nato-led forces in Afghanistan and demanded their immediate release.
According to reports reaching the PFUJ Secretariat, Mohammed Nader and Rahmatullah Nekzadwere taken into custody by the NATO-led Afghtanstan forces on suspicion of collaborating with the Taliban. However, but Al-Jazeera Management insists that they are innocent and appealed for immediate release of Mohammed Nader and Rahmatullah Nekzad.
“Troops from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) detained the men separately at their homes; Nader in southern Kandahar, and Nekzad four days ago in Ghazni province.
The ISAF claimed that “the insurgents use propaganda, often delivered through news organisations, as a way to influence and, in many cases, intimidate the Afghan population. Coalition and Afghan forces have a responsibility to interdict the activities of these insurgent propaganda networks."
The Management of the Al-Jazeera, rejecting the allegation, criticised "the vagueness of the allegations" against their employees and asked: "what exactly is the allegation of being 'a propagandist' - how do you define that?"
The PFUJ endorsed the observation of International Press Institute , which observed that "If it just means that as a cameraman he was doing his work as a journalist, filming the violence which we know has been wrecking that country in recent years, I think one has to be really careful before jumping into these kinds of accusations and arresting the cameraman."
The PFUJ also supported the contention of the Al-Jazeera, which said that their arrest is “an attempt to suppress its comprehensive coverage of the Afghan war".
The PFUJ also join hands with the Management of the Al-Jazeera and calls for immediate release of the arrested cameraman and appealed to all the journalists bodies of the world to take notice of their arrest and ask the Nato forces for immediate release of the arrested cameraman.
Shamsul Islam Naz
PAKISTAN FEDERAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS
Cellular +92(0)300 8665523