TV Producer Returns Home After Sindh Commission Takes Notice of His Disappearance

FN Threat Data Analysis – June 2023

One journalist survived threat to murder, another was threatened to harm while two experienced assaults to injury and one was kidnapped. A total of five cases of various threat categories against journalists were monitored and documented during June 2023 through the Pakistan Press Club Safety Hubs Network programme, an award-winning civil liberty organisation Freedom Network is managing since 2016.

Islamabad-based Freedom Network is assisting journalists at risks in five different categories, including humanitarian assistance, in partnership with five press clubs in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Islamabad, and Peshawar and Women Journalists Association of Pakistan, Digital Media Alliance of Pakistan (DigiMAP) and one for minority journalists, under Pakistan Press Club Safety Hub Network programme since February 2016.

THREAT TO MURDER:  Ihsan Rahman Sagir, a senior member of Malakand Press Club and correspondent of Daily Ausaf, received life threats for second time in a month for asking question about corruption from a government officer in Malakand. Earlier, Ihsan Sagir also received threat from unknown persons via phone call last month.

Ihsan Rahman Sagir told Freedom Network that a few days back he did a corruption story. Ihsan asked the officer about alleged corruptions taking place in his department. The officer threatened the journalist with dire consequences. Ihsan registered initial report in a local police station against officer. Police is investigating the case.

THREAT TO HARM: Karachi-based senior education beat journalist Syed Safdar Rizvi was threatened by Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Prof. Dr. Tariq Mehmood who is heading the Anti-Harassment Committee in IBA.  Senior journalist Syed Safdar Rizvi called Dr. Tariq to take his views about the news concerning alleged harassment of female staff in the university but Dr. Tariq got furious and threatened the journalist with abduction through the law enforcement agencies.

The Education Journalists Association demanded that the IBA administration should apologize to Syed Safdar Rizvi for Dr. Tariq’s unethical behavior, otherwise, the association reserved the right to protest and sue its member.

ASSAULT RESULTING IN INJURY: Peshawar-based freelance senior journalist Musaratullah Jan was attacked by three unknow persons with iron rod on June 20 inside Qayyum Sports Complex, Peshawar. The CCTV footage of the attack showed three persons attacking Musaratullah Jan with iron rod.  During the attack the journalist got injured and was rushed to local hospital for treatment. He remained admitted in hospital for three days. An FIR has been lodged in a local police station against unknown accused. An inquiry was ordered and police was directed to arrest the accused but no arrest has so far been made.

Click below link to read May 2023 Threat Data Analysis Report

Worst Month For Media Amidst Political Violence

PNN TV channel’s Shikarpur reporter Abdul Rahim was arrested on order of Shikarpur SSP Amjad Shaikh and took him to Napar Kot Police Station after Rahim posted allegations against the SSP on social media on 18 June 2023. The journalist was kept in police station for a few hours and was tortured and his naked video was filmed. The journalist was released late at night after protests by Shikarpur journalists.

KIDNAPPING: In a shocking turn of events on 5 June 2023 Zubair Anjum, executive producer at Geo News channel was taken away by persons in Karachi police uniform and plainclothes. Later, police denied its involvement in disappearance of the producer.

Two police mobiles and numerous double cabin vehicles came to Zubair Anjum’s house, taking him in their custody in front of his family. Wajahat Anjum, Zubair Anjum’s brother, described how the police, together with plainclothes men, aggressively invaded their home, brandishing pistols, and forcibly detained Zubair. They also took Zubair Anjum’s phone and the DVR holding footage from the neighborhood cameras throughout the procedure. Surprisingly, the police provided no explanation for the detention, leaving the family perplexed and concerned for his well-being.

Soon after the incident, Sindh Commission for Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners (CPJMP) took immediate action and convened an emergency meeting of the executive committee of the Commission. The chair of the Commission condemned the act and directed Sindh home secretary and Sindh Police chief to recover Zubair Anjum “within 24 hours” and submit a report on the incident to the commission within 36 hours. Written instructions have been issued in this regard.

Zubair Anjum, returned home safely to his home 24 hours after his disappearance, his family confirmed.

Threats, Attacks, and Harassment against Various Types of Media:

Two TV and three print journalists received the threats during June 2023.

Threat Actors Attacking and Harassing Journalists and Media:

Two state actors, two unknown and one IBA university professor were believed behind these threats these threats journalists faced.

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