Press clubs remain closed in protest against journalists’ killing

QUETTA: Press clubs across the country remained closed on Monday in protest against the recent killing of three media workers in Quetta and the failure of security agencies to arrest their killers.

Journalist unions held demonstrations in various cities and towns and hoisted black flags on press club buildings.

The call for protests was given by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Council of Pakistan Press Clubs against the killing of Online news agency’s bureau chief Irshad Ahmed Mastoi, reporter Abdul Rasool and accountant Mohammad Younis. They were gunned down inside their office in Quetta on Aug 28.

Mr Mastoi was general secretary of the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ).

In Quetta, the press club was locked at 9am and a protest camp was set up outside where media workers stayed till evening.

Wearing black armbands and holding black flags, the protesters raised slogans against the government and security agencies.

Around 60 press clubs in districts and tehsils of Balochistan also remained closed.

Press clubs in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other cities and towns in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remained closed for four to five hours.

Talking to this correspondent on phone from Islamabad, PFUJ president Afzal Butt condemned the killing of the three media workers. He criticised security agencies for their failure to arrest the killers.

He expressed concern over persistent attacks on media personnel in Balochistan and other parts of the country. Leaders of various political parties and office-bearers of Balochistan High Court Bar Association visited the camp in Quetta to express solidarity with media workers.

The protesters were addressed by BUJ president Irfan Saeed, Media Action Committee chairman Shahzada Zulfiqar and Quetta Press Club president Razaur Rehman.

They criticised the government for having failed to protect media workers.

They called for setting up a judicial commission to investigate the murder of the three media workers in Quetta.


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