24 September 1997


Police raid and occupy offices of newspaper

Incident details


(CPJ/IFEX) - On 27 August 1997, police and private security
forces raided the Lahore office of "Pakistan", an independent
Urdu-language daily. According to reports from Pakistan, the
newspaper office was raided by Punjab police who continue to
occupy the building. The police action is apparently related to a
civil financial dispute between Akbar Ali Bhatti, the newspaper's
chief editor and owner, and the Punjab Cooperative Bank,
involving assets -=C4 including the building of the newspaper
office -=C4 mortgaged with the bank. The Lahore High Court has
reportedly ordered the police authorities not to interfere with
the property.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • expressing concern that journalists inside the building may be
    unable to work freely without fear or harassment because of the
    presence of 51 armed policemen and private security forces
  • urging them to undertake a thorough investigation into the
    circumstances of the occupation
  • expressing hope that the civil dispute between Akbar Ali Bhatti
    and the Punjab Cooperative Bank will be addressed in accordance
    with the rule of law and not by police intimidation

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Nawaz Sharif
    Office of the Prime Minister
    Islamabad, Pakistan
    Fax: +92 51 821 574 or via Ministry of Education +92 51 825 835

    His Excellency President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari
    Office of the President
    Constitution Avenue
    Islamabad, Pakistan
    Fax: +92 51 811 390/+92 51 816 060 69

    Mushahid Hussain
    Ministry of Information and Media Development
    Islamabad, Pakistan

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Committee to Protect Journalists
    330 7th Ave., 11th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    info (@) cpj.org
    Fax:+1 212 465 9568
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