Journalist Sami Ibrahim ‘assaulted’ outside Islamabad office

TV anchorperson says ‘attackers’ were driving a vehicle having a ‘green-coloured registration plate’


News Desk July 09, 2022
Senior journalist and TV anchorperson Sami Ibrahim recording his statement at police station on July 9, 2022. SCREENGRAB

Senior journalist and TV anchorperson Sami Ibrahim was purportedly attacked and tortured by ‘unidentified men’ outside his office in Islamabad on Saturday night, local media reported.

According to reports, unknown miscreants approached Ibrahim as he was coming out of his office and allegedly subjected him to torture.

Ibrahim, who sustained minor injuries in the attack, told the media that the alleged attackers were driving a vehicle having a “green-coloured registration plate”. He also claimed that the ‘assaulters’ also filmed the incident.

Police officials reached the spot to record his statement. An initial investigation was also launched to ascertain the motive behind the incident.

The incident took place a week after another senior journalist and columnist Ayaz Amir was attacked by unidentified assailants in Lahore.

Ayaz, associated with a local TV channel, came under attack when he was returning home from his office in the provincial capital.

The attackers manhandled the senior columnist and also took away his belongings including mobile phone.

Read more: Journalist Ayaz Amir attacked in Lahore

Since May 18, police across the country have filed multiple first information reports (FIRs), which open an investigation, against some journalists associated with private TV channels.

The spate of investigations comes amid physical, legal, and online harassment of journalists following parliament’s election of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on April 11, after ousting former premier Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote.

On May 4, PM Shehbaz tweeted that the new government was “fully committed to freedom of press & speech.”

Among other offences, the multiple FIRs all accuse the four journalists including Imran Riaz and Arshad Sharif of violating sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) pertaining to abetment of mutiny and publication of statements causing public mischief by criticising state institutions in their journalistic work and unspecified social media posts.

Abetment of mutiny can carry life imprisonment and an unspecified fine, and the public mischief accusation can carry a prison sentence of seven years and an unspecified fine, according to the law.

Condemnations

Politicians, journalists and people belonging to other walks of life condemned the attack on seasoned journalist.

“Strongly condemn the heinous & cowardly attack on senior journalist Sami Ibrahim. The release of  Imran Riaz Khan and subsequent attack on Sami sb is telling of the nefarious designs of this [government]. Not only you but your facilitators will also face humiliation!,” wrote PTI leader Senator Ijaz Chaudhry on his Twitter handle.

Former federal ministers Shireen Mazari and Fawad Chaudhry termed the attack “condemnable”.

“Ayaz Amir, Imran Riaz Khan & now Sami Abraham. This regime no better than any previous ones. PML-N and PPP obviously have ZERO power to do anything about this—but they should be hanging their heads in shame at this catastrophic series of attacks on freedom of expression,” said political analyst Mosharraf Zaidi.

Senior journalist Muabashir Zaidi also condemned the attack. “This is getting out of control,” he wrote with #JournalismIsNotACrime hashtag.

 

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