Saturday, November 13, 2004

Press photographer gunned down by lone sniper on Jolo island

Pakistan Press Club (PPC) today condemned the fatal shooting of news photographer Gene Boyd Lumawag by a lone sniper yesterday while on assignment for the local news agency Mindanews on Jolo island, an Islamist bastion in the southern Philippines. The gunman escaped and no arrests were made.
Lumawag's death brought to nine the number of journalists killed in the course of their work so far this year in the Philippines, making it the world's most dangerous country for the press after Iraq.
"Once again we are dismayed by the death of a journalist in the Philippines," Reporters Without Borders said. "The investigations into each of these terrible murders must be pursued to the end if they are to stop. As in the other case, the authorities must explore all leads and the police must be given all the resources they need to find out who killed Lumawag."
Aged 26, Lumawag was preparing a report on Aid al-Fitr, the Muslim festivity that marks the end of Ramadan. He was hit by a 45mm bullet in the forehead as he was heading towards the pier in the town of Jolo to photograph the sunset. He was working with another journalist from Mindanao island who was managed find refuge in a church and was not hurt.
Army investigators told Mindanews they thought the shooting was the work of members of an "urban terrorist group" linked to Abu Sayyaf, an Islamist group fighting for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines. Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for many attacks and kidnappings and is alleged by both the Philippine and US authorities to be linked to Al-Qaeda.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Pakistan:Punjab Police raids FM-103 office, stops broadcast

LAHORE: Pakistan Press Club (PPC) the national organisation of journalists representing journalists nationwide, has today backed its affiliate in Pakistan.

Pakistan Press Club (PPC) condemned the sealing of FM-103 radio station by police in Lahore, Pakistan today.
Lahore Police on Saturday evening raided the FM-103 radio office, arrested the telephone and computer operators and stopped the Lahore office’s broadcast.Police also took away the radio office’s computers, mixer and other equipment and sealed the office. The arrested are Noman Ahmed and Abdul Ghafoor.“We have suspended the FM-103 radio broadcast in connection with the case registered under MPO-16 (Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance) against the radio station on November 9. FM-103 authorities have continued violating MPO-16, so we have had to suspend its broadcast,” Civil Lines Station House Officer (SHO) Arshad Kanju said.Police arrested FM-103 Programmes Manager Afaq Shah and Administration Manager Farhat Abbas Shah on November 9 and registered a case against them under MPO-16. The case stated that five men protested against the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), the government, government hospitals and doctors in front of the PIC building. Police later identified two of the five protestors as Mr Bokhari and Mr Shah.Police produced both men before the Cantonment Area Court on November 10 and sought their physical remand. Magistrate Ishrat Ali Khan instead allowed a one-day judicial remand. The next day, Cantonment Area Special Judicial Magistrate Shahid Fareed granted bail to both FM-103 staff members.FM-103 officials have called the accusations false and baseless. “Nobody demonstrated. We did broadcast a report against the PIC and are conducting an inquiry against the report,” FM-103 Station Director Shafqatullah said.FM-103 officials said, “Certain bureaucrats are pressuring FM-103 to stop broadcasting BBC Urdu Service news bulletins. Sealing the office and arresting staff members is a cheap way of coercing the radio station. This is like suppressing the freedom of expression. We will address a news conference tomorrow (Saturday) to tell the truth.” However, sources told PPC that FM-103 had been at loggerheads with the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) over broadcasting BBC Urdu Service news bulletins from its stations.PEMRA authorities had been sending notices to FM-103 to stop its news bulletins, as it was against the agreement they had signed. FM-103 officials said they had a constitutional right to broadcast the bulletins. The radio station took the matter to court and got a stay order against the halting of the news bulletins, sources said, adding that the court later vacated the stay order.“The court’s order can be considered an indirect warning by the government to FM-103 to stop broadcasting BBC Urdu Service news bulletins or it will face the circumstances, such as the arrest of their staff,” sources added.Meanwhile, Pakistan Press Club (PPC) President Mohsin Abbas condemned the sealing of the FM-103 office, calling it an attack on the freedom of expression.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

FM-103 Radio Employee kidnapped and Murdered in Pakistan

Pakistan Press Club(PPC),a media rights organization, demanded the arrest of killer of FM-103 Radio Karachi Journalist Faraz Ahmed, who was kidnapped and murdered.

Noted human rights activist Baseer Naveed’s son, who was missing since Monday, was found murdered in the Shahrah-e-Faisal area, family members said.

Faraz Ahmed, 21, was student of M A (previous) of philosophy department in Karachi University. He was doing part-time job at a local FM channel with his father.

“We did not see him after he did his programme on the radio Monday evening,” Mr Naveed, a senior journalist and an active trade union activist, said.

He said the young man sometimes would go out for a night or two with his friends without informing the family, which was why the family was not bothered and did not file any missing report with the police. According to Mr Naveed, he came out of his office of the FM-103 located near Shahrah-e-Faisal and was walking towards an open plot nearby when he saw someone lying at a secluded place. The father saw it was the mutilated body of his son.

It is assumed that Faraz was kidnapped immediately after he left the radio’s office located along main Shahrah-e-Faisal after doing a programme on the second death anniversary of poet Jon Elia.

Faraz was also an amateur actor and had performed in street theatres and dramas, a family friend said. The decomposed body was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for autopsy. “Here we waited for more than three hours for the medico-legal officer to perform the autopsy, but none of them turned up to do the job,” a family friend said.

He said the JPMC’s medico-legal section treated the bereaved family callously and they were forced to remain with the body for hours before something was done.In recent two weeks it wasfifth attack on media in pakistan.

Two Pakistani Journalists are arrested

Lahore (Pakistan):

Pakistan Press Club (PPC) president Mohsin Abbas has called for the release of Farhat Abbas Shah and Afaq Shah of the FM Radio 103 Lahore, Punjab Pakistan. They were arrested by Punjab police yesterday in Lahore district of Punjab province.

Police in Pakistani province Punjab have arrested Journalist and well known Urdu poet of the country Farhat Abbas Shah and his one co worker radio presenter Afaq shah .Both of them are working for an independent radio station in Lahore.
According to a senior police officer in Lahore they were arrested for broadcasting a disputed news story about Punjab institute of cardiology .They were accused to be causing that police were unable to maintain order in the city.
Station House Officer(SHO) for the police station Civil Line Inspector Arshad Hayat reported in first information report(FIR) that they were arrested under the section of 144.According to this article more than five people were not allowed to be gathered.
Secondly they were accused of violating the Section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

According to First information report (FIR) five people were coming from Kashmir road towards Mall road, while they arrived at the gate of Alhamra Hall gate number one .they started shouting loudly slogans against government, doctors and government hospitals. They were saying that current government and government hospitals and doctors have failed to relief the people.
Police inspector accused in report that they were found violating the section 16 of the (MPO) and it was not good for the peace in the public.
According to police report they were broadcasting the failure of government, doctors and government hospitals on their FM radio 103 and causing trouble in public.
According to First information report of police they claimed that police tried to arrest five of them but three of them were able to run away but only farhat abbas shah and syed afaq shah were arrested.
According to Fm radio manager Awais Bajwa police lied in their (FIR) report .Programme manager was arrested at the building of radio station situated at Agerten road Lahore and he was roughed by police too. when the in charge current affairs and news Farhat Abbas Shah learned about his arrest and went police station Civil Line he was arrested too.Farhat Abbas Shah have been published more that 52 books and one of his book” After the Evening” was published more than 12 editions.
Both journalists were kept in police station .By mid night they were brought to police station. According to friends of Farhat Abbas Shah his clothes were dusty and it looked like he was tortured by the police badly.


Mohsin Abbas
Pakistan Press Club (PPC)
E mail:
Phone: +1-416-669-4770

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Press panel slams Israel for curbs on media

GENEVA: The International Association of Press Clubs (IAPC) has protested in an open letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, the constraints placed on the press in Palestine.According to a report in The Khaleej Times on Friday, the association issued the statement after several incidents were reported by journalists working in the occupied territories. It was signed by director of the Press Club de France and IAPC President Michel Fernet and director of the Dubai Press Club and IAPC Secretary General Mona Al Marri.Among the serious violations cited by journalists was the incident of Israeli troops shooting at BBC reporter Orla Guuerin and at the armoured car of NBC correspondent Dana Lewis. Ms Lewis was also arrested and briefly held by the Israelis. The Israeli government’s press office revoked the press credentials of two Abu Dhabi TV journalists and threatened legal action against CNN and NBC for broadcasting from Ramallah. Israeli soldiers also fired rubber bullets and threw grenades at a convoy of journalists waiting near Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s compound for a meeting between the Palestinian leader and US special envoy Anthony Zinni.The members of the association called for Israel to guarantee the safety and well being of journalists working in Palestine, as well as for freedom for journalists to perform their work without intimidation and for editorial freedom within accepted international journalism guidelines for correspondents in Palestine.