Probe launched against torture of two journalists in Balochistan

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Probe launched against torture of two journalists in Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: The authorities on Tuesday said they had launched an investigation into torture of two journalists in Chaman. The two journalists said that they were tortured for reporting on a coronavirus quarantine centre near the Afghan border.

Television reporters Saeed Ali Achakzai and Abdul Mateen Achakzai said they were abused while spending three days in detention in Balochistan province. Photos released to AFP by the men, who are not related, showed them with apparent red welts across their backs. Balochistan´s Home Minister Ziaullah Langove said an inquiry was underway into the “brutal incident”.

“Three officials who were directly involved in the incident have been suspended,” Langove said, adding that the original case against the journalists had been dropped. In a statement, press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) showed concern over the incident.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has taken notice of torture and brutality that the two Chaman-based journalists had to face.

Their physical condition is in bad shape due to the severe beating and torture inflicted upon them, while they were locked up by the district administration, says a PFUJ press release on Tuesday. PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi in a joint statement have demanded for a judicial inquiry into the incident along with immediate suspension and arrest of persons who tortured the two journalists in custody, under Section 3 (1) of the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance (MPO) 1960.

This violence is an inhumane act that the journalists were subjected to by authorities during illegal arrest. Such acts cannot be ignored anymore,” they said.

PFUJ have urged Balochistan government and concerned authorities to ensure safety of the journalist community in Balochistan, as such acts of violence and injustice tarnish the country’s reputation.

Newspaper: The News