Daulat Jan Mathal has been imprisoned since October 24, 2016, on anti-terror charges in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Mathal was the editor-in-chief and publisher of the independent Daily Bang-e-Sahar and Baang newspapers, as well as the Broshal Times news website, which covered regional politics in Gilgit-Baltistan. He was forced to stop printing the publications due to government pressure five months before his arrest.
According to a local NGO worker, Mathal was arrested because the publications he edited supported national autonomy for the Gilgit-Baltistan region. Mathal is accused of “damaging the solidarity and integrity of Pakistan” by publishing anti-state materials that supported a local nationalist party, the Balawaristan National Front. Late in 2017, he was in state custody at the Gilgit district jail. No trial date had been set, and the journalist’s petition for bail had not been heard. Court officials had not responded to CPJ email requests for information as of late 2017.
Mathal was not included in CPJ’s 2016 prison census because CPJ was unaware of his case due to the scarcity of information coming out of the Gilgit-Baltistan region.