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Pakistani media comes under attack by police during rioting; state TV station stormed in Islamabad

A soldier from the Pakistan Rangers gestures to stop members of the media while walking with supporters of Sufi cleric and PAT leader Tahir ul-Qadri, during a march towards the prime minister's house in Islamabad, 1 September 2014
A soldier from the Pakistan Rangers gestures to stop members of the media while walking with supporters of Sufi cleric and PAT leader Tahir ul-Qadri, during a march towards the prime minister's house in Islamabad, 1 September 2014

REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

At least 28 journalists, cameramen and media workers were injured in an attack by Punjab police in Islamabad on August 31, 2014.

The police attack came during clashes between personnel of law enforcement agencies and activists of two political parties, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

The media persons came under attack while they were covering heavy police teargas shelling on PTI and PAT activists who are continuing their protests.

Police beat up the media persons ruthlessly and also damaged vehicles of seven media houses. The attack on the media has been widely condemned across the country.

The injured media persons were Khuram Fayaz, Samma TV cameraman; Ajab Khan, Samma TV cameraman; Awais Qazi, Samma TV cameraman; Atif Yousuf, Waqt TV cameraman; Imran Iqbal, Waqt TV cameraman; Mohammad Zahid, Waqt TV DSNG operator; Jameel Kiyani, Waqt TV driver; Essa Naqvi, Dunya TV reporter; Asad Ayub, Dunya TV reporter; Adnan Dunya TV DSNG Engineer; Anjum Fatemi, Dunya TV cameraman; Asif Abdullah, ARY News cameraman; Iqbal Zaib, ARY News cameraman; Kashif Abbasi, DawnNews cameraman; Naushad Abbasi, DawnNews cameraman; Yasir Malik, DawnNews reporter; Samar Abbas, DawnNews reporter; Ashfaq Hussain, DawnNews cameraman; Imran Chaudhry, DawnNews cameraman; Mansoor Ahmed, DawnNews cameraman; Amir Alam, Express News cameraman, Majid Shah, Express News cameraman, Usman Afzal, Express News Cameraman; Rana Tariq, Aaj TV reporters; Haroon Khursheed, Aaj TV cameraman; and Ghulam Ali, Aaj TV cameraman.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pakistan Broadcasters Association, Hyderabad Union of Journalists, Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists, National Press Club and various other journalist organizations
have strongly condemned the incident and demanded action against the police.

On September 1, hundreds of PTI and PAT supporters barged into the headquarters of state owned Pakistan Television (PTV). All entrances to PTV headquarters were occupied by the protesters as they began to damage the
property, working their way through the first, second and third floors. Wires were cut off as protesters entered the panel room.

They took over the programming control room after which the channel was taken off the air temporarily. However, transmission was later restored after the army intervened and expelled the protesters from the PTV building.

The attacks on August 31 and September 1 followed attacks on 12 media workers and on media houses since the start of the protests by PTI and PAT on August 14.

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