6 January 1998

Alert

Journalist harassed


Incident details

Qaiser Mahmood Khokhar

journalist(s)

harassed


(PPF/IFEX) - (PPF/IFEX) - On 29 December 1997, journalist Qaiser
Mahmood Khokhar was arrested and beaten by police in Lahore.
Khokhar had gone to the police station to collect the discharge
papers of a case registered against him on 1 December 1997. He is
said to have been arrested by police sub-inspector (SI) Farrukh
Shah, and beaten by policemen while being detained.




According to press reports, the case registered against Khokhar
was based on the complaint of someone named Gulsher. A few days
after the case was registered, five undercover police officers
attempted to apprehend the journalist outside his office. Since
the officers were not in uniform, Khokhar took them for
kidnappers and a scuffle ensued.


When Khokhar went to collect his discharge papers, the SI on duty
is said to have handcuffed and blindfolded him and forced him to
walk barefoot through a local market. Khokhar was also reportedly
ordered to announce to shopkeepers and passers-by that he was a
journalist and that he was being punished for failing to follow
police orders. It is further reported that he was taken to a
deserted place around 3 am and told to run away or
else be killed.


In the meantime several journalists gathered outside the police
station and convinced the Public Relation Officer of the Senior
Superintendent of Police to order the SI to report back to the
police station with the accused journalist. Shortly after 4 am,
Khokhar was delivered back to the station, at which point he
reportedly described his ordeal in the presence of journalists
and the SI. When the matter was brought to the attention of the
Senior Superintendent of Police, he suspended SI Shah and other
officials.





Source

Pakistan Press Foundation
Press Centre
Shahrah Kamal Ataturk
Karachi 74200
Pakistan
ppf (@) pakistanpressfoundation.org
Fax:+92 21 221 7069
 
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