Islamabad, Pakistan – Three unidentified males have assaulted a outstanding Pakistani journalist after breaking into his house, in keeping with the journalist, his lawyer and police, in what seems to be the most recent incident of violence concentrating on press freedom within the South Asian nation.
Journalist Asad Ali Toor mentioned in an announcement to police that the assault came about at roughly 11pm (18:00 GMT) on Tuesday when he heard the doorbell of his house within the Pakistani capital Islamabad ring.
“[The person at the door] pointed a pistol in the direction of him and mentioned that it is best to step again,” mentioned Haider Imtiaz, Toor’s lawyer and a member of the Pakistan Bar Council’s Journalist Defence Committee.
“He tried to run away however [the attacker] shouted that if you happen to don’t step again I’ll shoot you.”
Toor was dragged to his bed room the place he was sure, gagged and overwhelmed by the attacker and two others who had are available with him, in keeping with Toor’s assertion.
“They threw me on the ground arduous and advised me to not make a sound or they’d shoot me,” the assertion says.
“[One of the attackers] began hitting me repeatedly on the elbows together with his pistol butt. […] I attempted to scream however no sound got here out.”
Toor says the attackers recognized themselves as belonging to the Inter-Providers Intelligence (ISI) company, Pakistan’s army intelligence service, which has been accused by rights teams of involvement in enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings previously.
Pakistan’s army’s press wing supplied no touch upon the allegation.
Toor mentioned he was questioned on the sources of his revenue and “funding”, and was pressured to shout out slogans praising Pakistan, its army, and the ISI, in addition to denouncing Pakistan’s japanese neighbour India, northwestern neighbour Afghanistan and Israel.
Police spokesperson Zia Bajwa confirmed the assault and mentioned an investigation was ongoing. Video footage of Toor taken by journalists on the authorities hospital the place he was handled confirmed him limping and with blood seen on the sleeves of his shirt.
“[Earlier this month the cabinet] handed the Journalists Safety Invoice, and to those that handed the invoice this can be a message that the invoice is nothing however a bit of paper…,” Toor advised Al Jazeera at his house, as police gathered proof within the subsequent room.
At an illustration outdoors the press membership within the capital Islamabad on Wednesday, dozens of individuals protested towards the assault on Toor and known as for accountability for individuals who have attacked journalists previously.