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Police raid press club in Sindh province; journalists and activists unite in protests

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

Journalists and activists unite in protests

Journalists in Pakistan have set up coordinating committees in cities across the country to maintain their opposition to emergency decrees issued by President Pervez Musharraf on 3 November.

The committees include journalists, trade unionists and human rights advocates. Owners of newspapers and broadcasters have been invited to join as well.

Daily protests of journalists continue outside media outlets across Pakistan, led by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The local actions will be supported by IFJ affiliates around the world as they prepare to join a Global Day of Action on Thursday November 15.

The Day of Action will involve public statements condemning the Pakistan authorities' crackdown on free speech and delivery of protest letters to Pakistan embassies and missions.

An IFJ emergency mission to Pakistan is set for 19 to 22 November to investigate the impact of the Government's anti-media measures.

On Saturday, police raided the Nawabshah Press Club, in Sindh province and tried to remove a black flag raised as part of national protests demanding the Government withdraw the ordinances. Although police threatened the 60 to 70 journalists gathered at the club's premises, the club continues to fly a black flag, reports the PFUJ's Secretary-General, Mazhar Abbas.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 115 countries.

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