Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Pakistan 17 September 2002

Journalist threatened by secret police

Reporters Without Borders protested today against threats by Pakistani secret service agents to physically harm journalist Amir Mateen, correspondent in Islamabad of the English-language daily The News, because of his articles criticising the government.

"Intimidation of journalists by the secret service has increased alarmingly in the past few months," said Reporters Without Border secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to information minister Nisar Memon. "They are not just isolated incidents but seem to have become part of a systematic attitude towards the media. This is just another example of the government’s limited view of press freedom."

He called on the minister to see that harassment of Mateen stopped at once. According to information gathered by Reporters Without Borders, the intimidation of the journalist began after he had written several articles about the government’s supposed intention, feared by many opposition parties, of rigging the general election set for 10 October.

Mateen’s phone began to be tapped and he was constantly followed by secret service agents. His colleagues and family were also harassed. He informed information secretary Anwer Mahmood of what was happening and filed a complaint against persons unknown at an Islamabad police station, but no investigation was made.

Since then, things have got worse and Mateen says he was openly threatened by secret services agents who warned him that "the earlier treatment has not taught [him] any lesson" and that "if [he] did not stop writing against the government, [he] could be physically harmed." They told him that in view of his heart problems, "[he] will not be able to bear a day’s torture."

A few days ago, information minister Memon said in New York that he would personally look into Mateen’s case, but the journalist has not been contacted by any government official.

Other journalists from The News, notably Rauf Klasra, were threatened by the secret service in May. In July, Muzaffar Ejaz, managing editor of the daily Jasarat, was also harassed.




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

reports
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
archives

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