Seven media personnel were seriously injured in baton charge by law-enforcement agencies on February 2, 2016 while covering the protest demonstration by state owned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) against the planned privatization of the national airlines.
Shots were fired during the protest demonstration in which two employees of PIA lost their lives. Eye witnesses said police and paramilitary Rangers personnel started baton charge on protesters in which reporters, cameramen and photographers besides employees of national flag carrier were injured.
Shafi Dilshad cameraman of “Dawn News” television channel had his hand fractured. The foot of Rizwan Tabassum, photographer of “AFP” news agency was fractured. Both of them were also hit by batons and dragged.
Others who were injured were Muhammad Hanif Umer, cameraman of “ARY News” television channel; Naveed Kamal, reporter of “Dunya News” television channel; Rafiq Hassan, cameraman of “Express News” television channel; Amjad Iqbal, cameraman of “Waqt News” television channel and Samar Abbas, reporter of “Channel 92” television channel.
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) in separate statements demanded a transparent investigation into the incident and reiterated their demand for the security of journalists and media organizations. Journalists covering the session of Sindh Assembly boycotted its proceedings and held a sit-in on steps of the Assembly building and raised protest slogans.
Members of the Provincial Assemblies in the Sindh Assembly also joined the newsmen during the protest which was called off when Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Senior Minister for Education and Parliamentary Affairs of Sindh Government informed the protestors them that the Chief Minister had ordered an inquiry into the matter.
The Director General of the paramilitary Rangers, Bilal Akbar, ordered the formation a committee to investigate the matter.
Pakistan Press Foundation
Express Tribune: Media men face law enforcers’ wrath
Dawn: 6 journalists injured
The News: Who opened fire at PIA employees remains a mystery
The Nation: 3 PIA strikers die in Karachi airport clashes
Business Recorder: Water cannons, baton-charge fail to deter resolute PIA protesters
The News: Journalists boycott PA coverage to protest use of force at airport
Business Recorder: Use of force against media persons, PIA employees widely condemned