Freedom of Speech in Pakistan?

CPJ concerned about beating of journalist’s son in Islamabad
Daily Times, September 15, 2007

LAhore: The Committee to Protect Journalists is outraged by the assault on Hassan Sharjil, the 14-year-old son of prominent journalist Shakil Ahmad Turabi, editor-in-chief of the South Asian News Agency, CPJ reported on its website.

Hassan was beaten by a man outside his school on Friday in Islamabad as he was dropped off for classes at around 6:45am, the website said, adding that another man remained at the wheel of a four-door white pickup truck parked nearby while the beating took place. The pair had shouted to the boy from the truck before the attack began.

Hassan’s father told the CPJ that the man beating his son told him, “We warned your father to stop writing lies, but he wouldn’t listen. This will teach him a lesson.” Hassan was badly beaten on the head and his back was heavily bruised, his father, Turabi, said.

Turabi had been assaulted on May 18, when he was pulled from his car and beaten in a commercial area of the capital at around 10:45am. That attack came during political tension surrounding the ouster of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry by President Pervez Musharraf. Turabi had written a piece that contradicted government claims that local police, not government intelligence agents, had roughed up Justice Chaudhry when the judge was detained in March. “For thugs to attack a 14-year-old schoolboy because they do not like what his journalist father writes is an indicator of how little respect for the basic level of law and order remains in the nation’s capital,” said Joel Simon, CPJ executive director. “We call upon the authorities to open a full investigation or prosecution and bring those responsible to justice. If not, this incident will be just another gash in the fabric of Pakistan’s disintegrating civil society.” daily times monitor


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