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Two journalists attacked by lawyers on court premises

(PPF/IFEX) - On 30 July 2009, some twenty lawyers of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) attacked reporter Shaheen Attiq and cameraman Mohammed Nasir of private television channel City-42 for airing footage of the lawyers beating a policeman a day earlier outside the premises of the Sessions Court, in Lahore, the capital city of the Punjab province.

Nasir and Attiq had come to the Sessions Court in their office van for a routine assignment, and as they were leaving, the lawyers pulled Nasir out of the van and subjected him to violence. He received a head injury, his shirt was torn off and his camera, which the lawyers had snatched, was badly damaged. LBA Finance Secretary Asif Shakir and another lawyer rescued the TV crew from the violent lawyers.

The court reporters protested against the incident and decided to boycott the coverage of the lawyers' activities starting with the People's Lawyers Forum elections being held there.

Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Mr. Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif described the beating of journalists by the lawyers as regrettable and shameful. He said lawyers involved in violence were bringing a bad name to the profession and depriving it of the prestige earned during the movement for the restoration of the judiciary.

The Punjab Union of Journalists and the Lahore Press Club denounced the violence by lawyers against the media and called upon Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and the LHC Chief Justice to take suo moto notice of the incident.

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