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Paramilitary personnel detain and harass journalists in Balochistan

(PPF/IFEX) - Four journalists were detained and manhandled by paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) personnel in Noushki, Balochistan on June 3, 2010. The harassment was aimed at preventing the journalists from covering a shutter down strike being called by the Balochistan National Party (BNP).

The journalists included Bashir Mohammad, a reporter for ARY News, Mohammad Ibrahim Baloch, of Aaj TV, Dawood Mengal, of the daily "Zamana", and Ghulam Rasool, of the daily "Intikhab". They were stopped by the FC personnel in front of Degree College in Noushki on the National Highway when they arrived there to cover the strike.

Baloch told PPF that as they were filming and photographing personnel of FC beating BNP workers, some FC personnel made them stop the coverage and then snatched their cameras. They were confined in a room until the BNP protest had ended. FC officials released them after one hour after deleting the material from their cameras.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has condemned the manhandling, detention and snatching of cameras from the journalists and has demanded an impartial inquiry into the matter. In a statement the PFUJ urged the Balochistan government to take action against the FC officials responsible for the harassment of the journalists.

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