Pakistan: Press freedom activist attacked in Lahore
February 19, 2009
Reporters Without Borders voices its supports for journalist Imtiaz Alam, the secretary general of the South Asia Free Media Association (SAMFA), a regional press freedom group, who was attacked by four men wielding hockey sticks late last night near his home in the Doctor′s Colony neighbourhood of the eastern city of Lahore.
Alam was approaching his home in his car at about 11 p.m. when he was waylaid by four bearded men aged between 25 and 30 wearing traditional "shalwar kamiz" dress, who kept hitting the car with their hockey sticks for several minutes before finally leaving on motorcycles. Alam sustained injuries to his arms from shattered glass.
A neighbour said he saw a total of six men hiding in the street, waiting for Alam′s car to approach. While four of them carried out the attack, the other two looked on. Alam said he received a phone call 45 minutes after the attack warning him of "terrible consequences" if he told anyone what had happened.
Alam said this "cowardly act" was designed to deter him from speaking out about terrorism, but he pledged to continue. The SAFMA campaigns for press freedom throughout South Asia and supports dialogue between Pakistan and India.
Alam reported the attack to the local police station where a police officer, Hamad Akhtar, confirmed that the complaint had been registered and would be investigated.For more information contact
Reporters without Borders
Phone: 33 1 44 83 84 84