Daily Jang reporter allegedly taken away by over two dozen masked men in Karachi

Published March 30, 2019
Matloob's brother says he is liberal, progressive and a social activist. — Photo provided by author
Matloob's brother says he is liberal, progressive and a social activist. — Photo provided by author

A young reporter associated with the Daily Jang newspaper was allegedly taken away by unknown persons from his home in Karachi on early Saturday morning, according to the reporter's family.

Around two dozen persons wearing masks scaled the walls of the journalist's home in Salman Farsi Society at around 4am and took away the reporter, Matloob Husain Mosavi, claimed his brother, Minhaj Mosavi.

The brother alleged that the masked men misbehaved with the family members and locked them in a room before taking away Matloob.

Quoting neighbours, Minhaj said that plain-clothed gunmen had arrived in a Toyota Vigo, a Toyota Prado and three police vehicles.

The brother said that Matloob had no affiliations with political or religious organisations. However, he added that his brother is "liberal, has progressive views and is a social activist."

He demanded that if there is any allegation or case against him, he should be presented before the court, so that the "anxiety of the family can be reduced".

The brother said that the family had submitted an application at the Al Falah police station to this effect, which was confirmed by DIG East Amir Farooqi.

“They (the family) have given an application stating that there were policemen and plain-clothed people involved,” said DIG Farooqi.

“We are verifying this with various police agencies,” added the senior officer.

Meanwhile, the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) expressed concern over the disappearance of the journalist, condemning the incident in strong terms.

KUJ President Ashraf Khan along with General Secretary Ahmed Khan Malik and members of the working committee in a statement urged the government to take immediate notice of the incident.

They said that such cases of "enforced disappearances" have spread fear among the entire journalist community and that the government should put an end to such incidents.

Another journalist 'picked up', detained

In a similar incident in November last year, Nasrullah Khan Chaudhry, a senior journalist associated with Urdu-language daily Nai Baat, was detained by security personnel following a raid on his residence.

Three days later, Counter Terrorism Department officials disclosed his arrest in a case registered under Sections 11W(i) and 11F(i) of the Anti Terrorism Act, which pertains to printing, publishing, or disseminating any material to incite hatred, and offer support and hold meetings for a proscribed organisation.

Security personnel had claimed recovering a bag containing four copies of Nawa-i-Afghan Jihad, published in 2011, a magazine which promoted violence against the country and incited religious hatred.

During Chaudhry's court appearance, Investigation Officer Syed Ali Haider of the CTD informed the court that the detained suspect was allegedly an accomplice and facilitator of a notorious Al Qaeda operative named Khalid Mukashi, alleging him of giving Rs0.25 million to Khalid.

Morever, in a statement issued later in the day, the CTD accused Chaudhry of providing financial help to Khalid, by giving him Rs0.25 million.

Chaudhry's counsel had argued that he was innocent and was picked up a day after participating in a protest outside the Sindh Governor House against a raid on the Karachi Press Club — which the CTD said had been carried out to arrest Chaudhry, who was present there at that time, but managed to flee from the scene.

The journalist was remanded to jail authorities on charges of spreading religious disharmony.

Editorial: Journalist in jail

The forced and illegal detention was viewed by journalists as an attack on media freedoms. They were of the view that the detention of the senior journalist was aimed at "sabotaging" an ongoing country-wide protest against the "forcible intrusion and harassment" of journalists at the KPC.

Meanwhile, adviser to Sindh chief minister on information Murtaza Wahab had claimed that the intrusion of law enforcers in plainclothes into KPC was due to some "misunderstanding".

In a statement, the adviser said that initial inquiry into the incident revealed that the law enforcers went there due to “some problem in their GSM locator".

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