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Local police manhandle and detain journalist

(PPF/IFEX) - Umer Aslam, a reporter for the Lahore-based private TV channel City-42, was arrested and manhandled by police when he went to cover a student protest demonstration in Lahore on 5 November 2009.

Aslam told PPF that when he reached the Government M.A.O College, the policemen standing there stopped him from going into the college. He told them that he wanted to go inside the college to get information on the rally, such as the number of participants and number of those arrested.

Upon hearing this, the policemen lost their temper. They detained him and started beating him. They forcibly pushed him into the police mobile and took him to Islampura Police Station where he was locked up. According to Aslam, when he informed Islampura Police officers that he is a journalist, they too abused him. He said he received bruises on his eyes, nose and back during the police manhandling.

Aslam said he then contacted his assignment editor, Asif Jaffery, who came to the police station and had him released. Police Station House Officer (SHO) Maqsood Gujar apologized to him and ordered his release.

The Punjab Union of Journalist (PUJ) has demanded the suspension of the responsible police personnel, adding that PUJ will hold a protest in front of the Punjab Assembly if their demands are not met.

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