Friday, February 13, 2004

What a strange story. Too bad I can't even guess at the story behind this story. How could policemen get away with threatening legislators without backing from somewhere? On the other hand, what does anyone gain by tacitly allowing these threats? If you want to intimidate reporters, allowing this hardly seems to provide the maximum intimidation per unit risk of bad publicity. Huh?

ISLAMABAD: Violating the orders of senior authorities, the police and security personnel on Friday stopped several journalists from entering Parliament House to cover the 10th session of the Senate.

Policemen standing at Parliament House’s outer gate not only stopped journalists from entering, they also abused them.

“We will break your legs. Who the hell are you? You know what we can do with you... we can arrest you,” said the policemen. The aggrieved journalists unanimously boycotted the Senate’s proceedings and decided not to report the proceedings. The police and security officials at the outer gate have always created trouble for journalists and other visitors.

National Assembly (NA) Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain, Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro, Information Minster Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and other senior government ministers and functionaries had in the past ordered the police to treat journalists with respect and assured the journalists that they would not be troubled in future. The police and security personnel have disobeyed their orders and have continued to pester journalists.

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