Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Pakistan 1 May 2008

Held for two years, Baloch journalist still fears for his life

Reporters Without Borders calls on the federal government to order the military intelligence services to stop harassing Munir Mengal, one of the originators of a proposed Balochi-language satellite TV station to be called Baloch Voice. Freed in February after being held for two years, first by the military and then by the police, Mengal says he still fears for his life.

"Instead of watching and intimidating this man, who spent two years in detention just for wanting to create a TV station for the Baloch, the authorities should give him financial compensation," the press freedom organisation said. "This case should prompt the new government to look into the many kidnappings and disappearances of journalists, especially those from Balochistan."

"I still fear for my life," Mengal said in an interview for the BBC World Service’s Urdu-language service. "Intelligence agents continue to follow me." He said was freed on 23 February after a new government was elected in Balochistan province. As requested by the security forces, he decided to refrain from immediately announcing his release, for fear of being re-arrested. He is now living in the Qalat district of Balochistan.

After his arrest at Karachi international airport on 4 April 2006, he was held in the Malir military camp in the town of Sud. He said the military kept asking him why an educated Baloch like himself continued to support the Baloch nationalists. They told him they had arrested him to prevent him from talking to the media. He said he always insisted on his innocence despite being subjected to long sessions of torture.

"Wherever I go, I’m afraid for my life," he told the BBC World Service. "They prevent me from talking and writing."

In this country
26 May - Pakistan
Video on plight of Swat valley journalists
26 May - Pakistan
Joint open letter from the IFJ and RSF to the President regarding threats made against journalists
15 May - Pakistan
Emergency funds for journalists who have had to flee Swat valley fighting
12 May - Pakistan
Journalists flee Swat valley en masse
6 May - Pakistan
Media in danger in Swat valley

in the annual report
Pakistan - Annual report 2007
Pakistan - Annual report 2006

4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised