24NewsHD TV reporter’s arrest sparks countrywide protests
Justice Athar Minallah remarks if such was a case ban the freedom of expression
Newsmen were up in arms over the out-of-the-blue arrest of the TV reporter. Protests were reported from several cities where journalists condemned Kiyani’s arrest and also expressed solidarity with him.
Regretting Kiyani’s arrest, the journalists termed attempts to stop newsmen from performing professional duties as unconstitutional and negation of press freedom. They said the ‘dictatorship’ of the ‘selected’ government is hindering Constitution, law, democracy and civil liberties.
The newsmen staged protest demonstrations across the country condemning the arrest of Ihtesham Kiyani, terming the move cruel and unreasonable and demanding Prime Minister Imran Khan and Interior Minister Ijaz Shah to take notice of the incident.
In his reaction, PFUJ Secretary General Rana Azeem said the government wanted to turn every channel into PTV (Pakistan Television). Afzal Butt said they will not allow anyone to hurt media. “We will face the ‘dirty tactics’,” he added.
Journalists in Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Mianwali, Toba Tek Singh and other cities stages protests where they raised slogans in support of Ihtesham Kiyani. They vowed to protect the sanctity of pen and camera.
Earlier, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Justice Athar Minallah ordered the immediate release of 24NewsHD TV channel reporter, Ihtesham Kiyani, who was arrested by the police while he was on his way to court Wednesday morning.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah ordered the police to release the reporter at once. When the Chief Justice was informed that the police told the journalists that Ihetsham Kiyani was arrested on IHC Chief Justice's orders, a fuming Justice Athar Minallah said that he did not give any such orders, asking police to release the reporter.
Justice Athar Minallah remarked that if such was a case then ban the freedom of expression.
Maryam Nawaz was due to appear in IHC which is hearing appeals regarding Alazizia Reference sentences.