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Continuing Attacks on Journalists In South Asia

Continuing Attacks on Journalists In South Asia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and SAMSN partners condemned a series of attacks on journalists in the South Asian region in the past month. Particularly worrisome have been incidents in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and the Maldives.

Sri Lankan police attacked a group of journalists covering a student protest in Colombo on October 14. SAMSN partners, the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association (SLWJA) and the Free Media Movement (FMM), held a joint protest with other civil society groups in Colombo on October 19. The protest called on the Inspector General of Police and the Secretary of Defence to investigate the incident and take action against any officers found guilty of professional misconduct.


In the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a journalist was attacked by security staff at the press conference of an Islamic cleric in the capital, Lucknow, on October 14, for asking questions about a recent judicial verdict involving a long-running land dispute between rival religious trusts. The next day the offices of the HT Media group were raided by police in the city of Kanpur, also in Uttar Pradesh. The raid was allegedly in retaliation for the media group’s reporting on a case involving the molestation of a child by the manager of a school.


Journalists in Male, the capital of the Maldives, were attacked by police on October 25 while covering a demonstration by the student wing of the country’s main opposition party. The Maldives Journalists’ Association (MJA) has called for an inquiry into the incident and won the endorsement of senior members of the Government.


SAMSN partner and IFJ affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has drawn attention to two recent examples of the mistreatment of journalists by security personnel at the premises of public authorities. In the first instance, Faisal Shoukat Ali Rajput, the Karachi bureau chief of the Din TV channel, was detained and brutally assaulted while reporting on a fire at the city’s international airport. In the second instance, a news team with the Dunya channel was reportedly assaulted by security guards of the Lahore Development Authority, allegedly at the behest of its director-general, on October 29.



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