Pakistan journalist traceless for weeks, PEC demands probe

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Imran Riaz Khan, Pakistan political commentator.

Nava Thakuria

Geneva, June 9: Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, expresses concern over the missing of Pakistan journalist and political commentator Imran Riaz Khan for weeks after his arrest at Sialkot international airport and urged the federal government in Islamabad to launch a probe to get his whereabouts at the earliest.

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The 47 years old scribe’s family members informed that he was flying to Oman after their Lahore-based house was raided by the police in the second week of May and subsequently Khan was arrested. Later the police informed the family members that he was released on 11 May itself after some hours of detention. But he has neither returned home till date nor contacted the family members.

A Pakistan minister publicly stated that Khan was kidnapped by miscreants and the government was looking for the perpetrators. He indirectly questioned the identity of Khan as a journalist terming him a
political party spokesperson (inclined to former Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan and his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf).

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“We condemn the ‘abduction’ of Khan and demand his urgent release. The Islamabad regime should look into the matter seriously and inform the family members on his whereabouts. The authorities must ensure that no physical harm will be done to the scribe,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (https://pressemblem.ch/pec-news.shtml), adding that Khan should be produced in a court if he has committed any crime.

PEC south Asia representative Nava Thakuria informs that Pakistan continues to be a dangerous country for scribes and it lost television scribe Imtiaz Baig in Jhelum locality on 4 May last. During 2022, the
country lost seven journalists (Sadaf Naeem, Arshad Sharif, Muhammad Younis, Iftikhar Ahmed, Hasnain Shah, Murtaza Shar and Athar Mateen) in different brutal incidents.

(Nava Thakuria is a senior Indian journalist who contributes to various media outlets including print and digital platforms of India and across the world)

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