HRCP strongly condemns police brutality on peaceful journalists’ demonstration

HRCP strongly condemns police brutality on a peaceful demonstration of the journalists and members of civil society protesting against the imposition of restrictions on the media

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Karachi, November 20, 2007: In a statement issued to the press, Mr. Iqbal Haider, Secretary General, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) strongly condemned police brutality on a peaceful demonstration of the journalists and members of civil society protesting against the imposition of restrictions on the media at Karachi Press Club, today at 04:00 pm.

Mr. Haider stated that the Sindh Government and all other provincial authorities must be held responsible for the atrocious police action against male and female journalists who were peacefully protesting against the imposition of restrictions on the media.

Today, the police under the instructions of the provincial administration attacked on a peaceful demonstration of journalists with tear gas and batons and arrested hundreds of journalists and members of civil society while more than a dozen were badly injured.hyderabad journalists

He also warned the Government of Sindh that such restrictions on media are a clear violation of not only of the Constitution of Pakistan, but also is against all International charters of human rights and local laws.

Mr. Haider said that, under the present regime, harassment, victimization, disappearances (abduction by Authorities), murder, attempted murder or attacks on the life and properties of the Journalists community, lawyers, human right activists and political leaders and workers are continuing with impunity, in a shocking number and manner.

HRCP would like to remind the government that its threatening attitude towards the media goes against all principles of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Such policies have led to Pakistan being placed among top ten of the worst violators of press freedom by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

HRCP reiterates its demand to withdraw the illegal and unconstitutional restrictions on media and calls upon the government to ensure (i) that all the arrested journalists, lawyers, human right activists, political leaders and workers and members of civil society must immediately be released and should also be provided medical aid and treatment to those who were injured at the hands of the police and local administration (ii) to accept the demands of the journalists, editors and owners of the electronic and print media (iii) to take strict disciplinary action and lodge FIRs against all the concerned ministers and top officials of the Sindh Government and their sub-ordinates, who are responsible for the lathi charge, tear gassing and injuring and arresting the peaceful, law-abiding journalists and members of civil society.

Iqbal Haider
Secretary General, HRCP

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