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Newspaper reporter and his brother beaten by Punjab police

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the severe beating which reporter Aoun Sahi of "The News" daily newspaper and his brother, Ali Muslim, received from police in Daska, in the eastern province of Punjab, on 5 February 2008.

Sahi said they were stopped by police as they were travelling by motorcycle to Sialkot. The police began hitting them when Sahi objected and showed his press card. One of the policemen reportedly said: "We know what to do with journalists; you think we are afraid of you." The two brothers were then taken to the Daska police station where they were again beaten by policemen using belts and iron bars until relatives and other police officers intervened.

The Sialkot police chief suspended two officers and promised to investigate and punish those responsible for the assault. Federal human rights minister Ansar Burni has sent a report on the incident to the Punjab government. A recent Reporters Without Borders press release listed police violence as one of the five major problems to be solved before the 18 February parliamentary elections.

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