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Journalists assaulted outside Lahore court

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders condemns the use of physical violence by lawyers against journalists that took place outside a high court hearing in Lahore on 6 August 2009, in which lawyers were being tried for an earlier case of violence against the press.

"These attacks are unacceptable from every standpoint," Reporters Without Borders said. Firstly, they are clearly reprisals against journalists who were just doing their job. Secondly, they were carried out by people who represent the law in the very place where it is supposed to be enforced. And finally, the journalists were attacked by lawyers during a trial of lawyers for similar attacks on 30 July. These recurrences must stop."

The case being tried by the Lahore high court chief justice on 6 August concerned an attack by lawyers on cameraman Nasir Masood and reporter Shaheen Atiq of C-42 television a week earlier. The hearing was brought to an end and postponed to 13 August when a group of lawyers began shouting at journalists in court.

Lawyers led by Lahore bar association vice-president M.R. Awan then attacked reporters and cameramen outside the courthouse and threw stones at various TV crew vehicles, smashing Geo TV cameraman A.R. Adnan's camera and damaging other equipment.

The 30 July attack on the C-42 journalists took place when they filmed lawyers assaulting a policeman. These attacks can be seen in a Geo TV report posted on YouTube ( ).

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