Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lahore lawyers attack journalists and support staff

Lahore lawyers attack journalists and support staff

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed shock and dismay over the intolerance displayed by a group of lawyers in Lahore on Saturday where they attacked media persons, including cameramen, and prevented them from discharging their professional duties.

The lawyers, on the call of the Lahore District Bar Association, staged a demonstration against the atrocities of the police and to condemn the torture and arrest of fellow lawyers on Friday.

A number of media persons belonging to almost all media outlets reached the spot – Aiwan-e-Adl - to cover the demonstration, PFUJ’s affiliate, the Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) reported.

The media teams were busy with their work when all of a sudden a group of lawyers without any provocation attacked the media men on the pretext that coverage of their demonstration would tarnish their image.

Not only this, some of the lawyers physically assaulted the media persons and also damaged the cameras and other equipment, and destroyed the footage of the event.

The lawyers also severely thrashed Geo Senior Reporter Ahmad Fraiz, Geo cameraman, Hanan Younis and City-42 channel's Maqsood But.

Terming this incident a direct attack on independence of media, the PFUJ regretted that torture and assaults on media persons by the lawyers during coverage has become frequent and it was the seventh incident in a row in which lawyers physically assaulted them and ransacked cameras and other gadgets.

The PFUJ however, expressed surprise over the decision of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary, who took suo moto notice of the incident in which the lawyers were beaten up by police in Lahore. The PFUJ said that journalists and media persons were also thrashed and they too have constitutional guarantee to discharge their duties in a free and fair environmen

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