Home >

Manhandling of journalists: Islamabad court orders to record media persons’ version in terror case

Court disposes of petition seeking registration of separate FIR for manhandling journalists by Islamabad police

March 11, 2023
Police manhandle journalist Saqib Bashir at the judicial complex in Islamabad, on February 28, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Photo by author

ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court in the federal capital on Saturday disposed of a petition seeking the registration of a separate first information report (FIR) against police for manhandling journalists outside the Islamabad High Court on February 28 and ordered to record the statements of the media persons in the terror case already filed in connection with the incident.

The police thrashed the journalists during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s appearance before the Islamabad courts in multiple cases — including attempted murder, prohibited funding, and Toshakhana — on the last day of the previous month.

As the PTI leader arrived at the judicial complex, a large number of PTI workers entered the building by knocking its gate down. Security arrangements at Sector G-11 of the judicial complex were disrupted as the PTI workers removed all barriers.

Saqib Bashir, a journalist, moved the court for the registration of a criminal case against the police under the relevant provisions contending that he had filed an application with the police, but it did not bear fruit.

On February 28, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police registered a terrorism case for alleged vandalism, riot, and sabotage at the capital's judicial complex during the PTI chairman’s appearance before different courts in connection with multiple cases filed against him.

During the course of proceedings, the journalist’s counsel argued that his client has no concern whatsoever with the protestors of the political party or the acts done by them and the incident that took place with him is distinguishable for which a separate FIR may be lodged.

The court, however, stated that a second FIR is not permissible in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment.

In his verdict, Additional District and Sessions Judge Tahir Abbas Sipra ordered to record the statements of the petitioner and other journalists in the terror case.