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Paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel detain, manhandle journalist

(PPF/IFEX) - On 13 June 2010, Munir Noor, Khuzdar reporter of Samaa TV and the "Daily Messenger", was detained and manhandled by paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) personnel in Khuzdar, Balochistan,while covering the funerals of two students on 12 June.

According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), the FC personnel, who were deployed for security, stopped Noor's mortorcycle and beat him. They used abusive language and slapped him in the face. They also seized a camera from his companion Abdul Latif.

Talking to PPF, Noor said the FC personnel detained him in their vehicle and when he tried to make a phone call they took away his moble phone and beat him up. After speaking with their senior officers, the FC personnel released him, after half an hour, and returned the mobile phone and camera. Noor received bruises on his head, face, shoulder and back.

Noor further said that Shahid Rind, Quetta Bureau Chief of Samaa TV, informed him that Major General Saleem Nawaz, Inspector General FC Balochistan, apologised over the incident. Noor said that, Murtaza Baig, an FC spokesman, also contacted him and offered an apology.

The Khuzdar Press Club strongly condemned the incident. The PFUJ condemned the FC personnel for their excesses towards journalists in Balochistan and for preventing them from discharging their professional duties. The PFUJ demanded the federal government and the Interior Ministry take steps to ensure the safety of media representatives in Balochistan.

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