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TV cameraman briefly detained by police

(PPF/IFEX) - Aijaz Ali, a cameraman with the private regional TV channel Sindh TV, based in Mirpurkhas town, Sindh province, was assaulted and detained in the town's police station on 12 January 2010 after trying to film one of the prisoners.

According to a press report, Station House Officer Mohammad Amin Junejo became rash, slapped the cameraman, snatched his camera and damaged it by throwing it on the ground. Ali was detained in the police station. On hearing of the incident, a number of local newsmen went to the police station and informed the higher-ranked police officers. Superintendent of Police Investigation Malik Zafar Iqbal arrived at the police station and ordered the release of the detained cameraman. District Police Officer (DPO) Munir Ahmed later suspended police officer Junejo on the charge of "committing excesses" against Ali and ordered an inquiry into the matter.

Ali told PPF that he and Sohail Sheikh of Mehran TV went to the police station to cover the story of an individual who had been detained and was assaulted by police. While his colleague remained outside, Ali went inside the station. He said that officer Junejo slapped him in the face and locked him up behind bars. Sheikh was able to inform other journalists of the incident.

Nazir Panhwar, bureau chief for Sindh TV, told PPF that when he received a message from Sheikh about Ali's detention, dozens of journalists staged a sit-in at the police station. The DPO said that Junejo would bear the cost of repairs or replacement of the damaged camera.

Mehmood Sultan Chandio, president of the Mirpurkhas Press Club, condemned the attack on Ali and demanded disciplinary action against officer Junejo.

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