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Bureaucrat in Pakistan beats woman journalist

ISLAMABAD – A high ranking bureaucrat of the government of Pakistan beat a woman journalist and locked her in a room for about an hour.

According to press reports Ms. Saima Zahoor, a reporter of an Urdu daily Express had gone to meet Mr. Asif Rahim, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Environment to seek his comment on the issue of pollution in local Rawal Lake.

The official became enraged by her questions and called in the security guard and ordered him to throw her out of the office. When Zahoor protested against his rude behavior he slapped her and dragged her and locked her in a room.

Fortunately, Zahoor had her cell phone and she called her journalist colleagues and the police, who rushed to the scene. The staff on seeing the police hurriedly released the journalist from the office.

Local journalists protested against the manhandling of the journalists, and walked out of the parliamentary press gallery during the session of the Senate on Monday, July 12. They demanded immediate suspension of the bureaucrat and registration of a criminal complaint against him. They refused to return to the gallery until the government made the commitment of the floor of the Senate.

The journalists returned to the press gallery after Federal Minister for Communication Babar Khan Ghouri gave the assurance on the floor of the house that a case would be registered against the official and an inquiry will be held against him.

Source: PPF

Date:7/11/2004

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