MAY 3, 2005
Posted: May 4, 2005
The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the attacks by police on journalists in the cities of Lahore and Islamabad. During peaceful demonstrations in honor of World Press Freedom Day, approximately 50 journalists were injured when police baton-charged demonstrators marching in the center of Lahore, and as many as 60 journalists were forcibly detained for two hours at a police station in Islamabad, local journalists told CPJ.
Around 200 journalists staged a peaceful rally in Lahore, the capital of the eastern Punjab province, marching through town with banners and slogans. As they approached government buildings in the center of town, police attacked them without warning or provocation, beating them with batons, according to eyewitnesses.
Meanwhile, in the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, another group of reporters and photographers assembled near the parliament building chanting slogans that called for wage reform and press freedom. Dozens of police officers descended on the journalists, herding them into cars and vans and detaining them at a nearby police station. They were held for two hours before being released without explanation, according to local journalists.
Local sources say that the Information Minister and the Interior Minister denied staging an official crackdown on the press.