KARACHI: Six journalists were injuries on Tuesday after law-enforcement agencies baton-charged workers of the Pakistan International Airlines who were protesting against the proposed privatisation of the national flag carrier.

According to Dr Seemin Jamali, head of emergency at the Jinnah Post-graduate Medical Centre, the media workers – TV cameramen Rafiq Hasan, Shafiq Dilshad, Zubairuddin, press photographer Rizwan Tabassum and reporters Samar Abbas and Naveed Kamal – sustained wounds and some of them were hit from a close range.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Karachi Union of Journalists called the incident an attempt to suppress the free media. They called for a transparent investigation into the incident and reiterated their demand for security for journalists and media organisations.

Reporters boycotted the Sindh Assembly session midway on receiving reports about the action against their colleagues at the Karachi airport. They held a sit-in on the steps of the assembly building and raised slogans.

MPAs Khairun Nisa Mughal, Shamim Mumtaz and Dr Bahadur Khan Dahiri of the PPP; Syed Sardar Ahmad, Faisal Sabzwari, Sumita Afzal and Aamir Moeen of the MQM; Nand Kumar, Imtiaz Shaikh and Nusrat Seher Abbasi of the PML-F and Khurram Sherzaman and Hafeezuddin of the PTI later joined them.

Journalists called off their protest after senior minister Nisar Khuhro assured them that action would be taken if police were found involved in causing injuries to their colleagues.

He said the chief minister had sought a report from the deputy inspector general of police concerned.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2016

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