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Journalist detained, threatened and assaulted by security forces

(PPF/IFEX) - On 4 September 2008, Musa Khankhel, a correspondent for the daily newspaper "The News" and the television channel Geo TV, was mistreated by security forces personnel. The incident occurred near the town of Mingora, in the troubled district of Swat in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

According to press reports, Khankhel was detained and taken to Gulkadda Circuit House, which serves as the headquarters of the Army in Saidu Sharif, capital of Swat district. He said he was verbally abused and manhandled by five members of the security forces. Four of them were in military uniform and one was in civilian clothes.

Khankhel said one of them kept abusing him while ordering his men to hit him hard. The man reportedly accused Khankhel of inaccurate reporting. He said he knew where the journalist lived, and threatened that they could eliminate him along with his family. "It was a harrowing experience for me," he said. Khankhel had earlier received threats over the telephone.

Khankhel told PPF that security forces personnel aboard their vehicles fired their guns in the air outside his office on 7 September.

His younger brother Isa Khankhel, who is a reporter for the Urdu daily "Jang", has also received threats from the militants as well as the security forces.

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