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Journalist assaulted by former government minister's guards

(PPF/IFEX) - ARY One World television station bureau chief Farhan Effendi was injured by supporters of a former provincial minister, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Mirza, during a press conference held by Mirza in the city of Hyderabad, in Pakistan's Sindh province, on August 30, 2011.

Effendi, who is also the general secretary of the Hyderabad Union of Journalists (HUJ), told the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that he posed a question to Mirza referring to a point raised by the former minister in his opening remarks. Mirza became upset at the misinterpretation of his remarks and started yelling at Effendi without allowing him to complete his query. The former minister then called him an agent of an opposing political party. Later, Mirza's guards assaulted Effendi, breaking four of his teeth.

Effendi said the situation at the Hyderabad Press Club where the conference was held became out of control when Mirza's supporters aimed their weapons at journalists covering the event.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the HUJ expressed their indignation over the brutal attack on Effendi and have demanded an appropriate response from the government.

Mirza later apologised for the behaviour of his guards.

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