Reporters boycott Balochistan Assembly session in protest against torture of two Chaman journalists

Updated Jun 24 2020

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The protesting journalists left the press gallery in the provincial assembly as soon as its session began. — APP/File
The protesting journalists left the press gallery in the provincial assembly as soon as its session began. — APP/File

QUETTA: Reporters on Tuesday boycotted proceedings of the Balochistan Assembly in protest against the arrest and alleged torture of two Chaman-based journalists by the local administration and security personnel.

The protesting journalists left the press gallery in the provincial assembly as soon as its session began. Led by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists president Shahzada Zulfiqar and Balochistan Union of Journalists president Ayub Tareen, the protesting journalists went outside the assembly.

Carrying placards and banners inscribed with anti-Chaman administration slogans and their demands they chanted slogans, demanding strict action against those officials who subjected the two journalists to torture while they were being shifted to Mach jail.

The two Chaman-based journalists, Saeed Ali Achakzai and Abdul Mateen, were arrested by the district administration under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Act and shifted to Mach jail. However, they were released after a strong reaction of the PFUJ and BUJ Monday night. After their release the two journalists showed marks of torture on their bodies to their colleagues.

While speaking to the protesting journalists outside the assembly, PFUJ president Zulfiqar questioned on what charges the two Chaman-based were kept in Mach jail under the MPO.

He said the PFUJ and the BUJ strongly condemned the torture on the two journalists and demanded action against those involved in the incident.

Minister for Home and Tribal Affairs Mir Zia Langove and MPA Asghar Khan Achakzai assured the protesting journalists that action wo­uld be taken against those officials who were involved in the incident. Mr Langove said Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani had taken notice of the incident and ordered an inquiry into it.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020