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Peshawar

November 28, 2017

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Journalists protest arrest of Landikotal colleague, employee  

PESHAWAR: The Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) Fata and Khyber Union of Journalists on Monday jointly staged demonstration to protest the arrest of a tribal journalist and an employee of the Landikotal Press Club.
The protest was led by Khyber Union of Journalists President Saiful Islam Saifi and TUJ’s Sudhir Ahmad Afridi.
The journalists chanted slogans while holding placards and banners.
They demanded the release of journalist Khalil Jibran and Landikotal Press Club employee Hassan Ali who were arrested by the Frontier Corps (FC) on November 24.
A number of journalists from seven tribal agencies and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated in the protest wearing black armbands to show solidarity with their detained colleagues.
Speaking on the occasion, Khyber Union of Journalists President Saiful Islam Saifi said that arrests were meant to silence the media and hide corruption.
He said the FC treated journalists as if they were militants, adding the issue of arrests would be taken up at national and international level. He remarked that those who arrested Khalil Jibran should also make public the journalist’s crime.
Senior journalist Shamim Shahid asked the government to take action against the security personnel who had ordered the arrest of the tribal journalist. He asked how journalists could fabricate attack on the security forces.
He said all the journalists across the country considered the arrest an intentional attack on the freedom of press and expression. The protesters demanded the government to take notice of the alarming situation in Fata that could further curb press freedom in Fata.
Earlier, at a joint meeting of TUJ and Peshawar-based journalists at Peshawar Press Club, former TUJ president Ibrahim Shinwari, Faridullah and Hussain Khan Afridi said the Frontier Corps should cite the reason behind the arrest of tribal journalists who luckily escaped attempts on their lives as the bomb planted to their vehicle was spotted

before it could go off.
They asked the officials concerned to apologise over the arrest and torture of journalist Khalil Jibran and Landikotal Press Club employee Hassan Ali and termed this illegal.
Sudhir Ahmad Afridi said that he too was arrested in the past along with another journalist and his house had also been raided. He said doing journalism had become difficult in the tribal region.
On November 24, the FC arrested local reporter Khalil Jibran along with four other Landikotal-based journalists, including Imran Khattak, Farhad Shinwari, Hazrat Umar Khan Shinwari and Mehrab Khan Afridi after FC personnel spotted a bomb planted to Khalil Jibran’s car.
Meanwhile, journalists also staged protests in Jamrud tehsil in Khyber Agency and Khar town in Bajaur Agency to condemn the arrests.

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