PFUJ condemns abduction of two journalists, announces countrywide protest on Monday

UPDATE 5.45 PST: Journalists Amir Mir and Imran Shafqat released on bail. Federal Investigation Agency says they were arrested for their alleged contempt against Judiciary, Army and some “women”…

Tweet from Amir Mir’s brother journalist Hamid Mir

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I don’t normally post back-to-back but the situation warrants it. Hours after my last blogpost Stand in solidarity with journalists, two more journalists have been picked up. What is this andher nagari, land in darkness…?

Image of HRCP tweet – Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist (PFUJ) has strongly condemned abduction of two senior journalists Syed Imran Shafqat and Amir Mir from Lahore from their residences in Lahore on Saturday and demanded their immediate release.

The PFUJ also announced to hold countrywide protest from Monday against growing incidents of journalists’ abductions in Pakistan.

The abductors were reportedly from Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which, PFUJ, believes is involved in taking actions against the journalists at the behest of the government.

PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi in a joint statement urged Federal Government to take immediate measures for the release of two Lahore based journalists Imran Shafqat and Amer Mir and take concrete measures to protect the journalists.

“Such illegal and unwarranted arrests shows government’s disrespect towards Freedom of Press, Free speech and expression in the country and such draconian measures are against the civil liberties guaranteed in 1973 Constitution of Pakistan” they said.

PFUJ leaders said that misuse of state authorities and agencies for suppressing the voices of dissent is indicative of denial of human rights and misuse of powers which will be resisted by all means.

“ Agencies like FIA are meant for protecting the nation’s interests, not for abduction of civil society, journalists and right activists” they said.

The PFUJ leaders noted that this was not the first time that such abductions have taken place during the Tehrike Insaf regime and recalled that since the installation of Imran Khan as prime minister, FIA is being used to harass Journalists and media workers.
The PFUJ pointed out that in September last year, 49 journalists were served notices by FIA under black law of Prevention of Electronic crime Act (PECA).

Similarly in July this year, Senior Journalist and anchor Nadeem Malik was served notice by FIA counter Terrorism Wing which are proof of misuse of state agencies by the current regime.

“ Policies of Tehrike Insaf government are anti media anf apparently the sitting government is against freedom of press and free speech and expression,” the PFUJ leadership said.

PFUJ has demanded strong action against abductors of Imran Shafqat and Amir Mir and their immediate release and also asked all the Union of Journalists and Press Clubs to arrange countrywide protests on Monday against growing acts of forced disappearances and abduction of journalists and media workers in the country.

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